PA's northern stalwart Peter Beal picks up MBE

The former northern editor of the Press Association will receive an MBE from the Prince of Wales today.

Peter Beal, 58, who recently retired after 30 years with the agency, will be honoured for services to journalism.

Beal began his career on the Skyrack Express in his home town of Leeds and joined the Burton Daily Mail before moving to the Coventry Evening Telegraph as the paper's crime reporter.

He joined PA as a reporter in London in 1976 before moving to Scotland and then to Manchester as chief northern correspondent.

During the next 20 years he covered virtually every major story in the North, including the miners' strike, the Lockerbie, Kegworth and Manchester Airport air disasters, the Heysel and Hillsborough football tragedies, the Bradford City fire and the crimes of killer GP Harold Shipman.

He specialised in major trials and covered those of Harold Shipman, James Bulger's killers, the Leeds United footballers and nanny Louise Woodward in the United States.

After his retirement, he raised £7,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association by walking from Land's End to John O'Groats in three months.

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