As the Bristol Evening Post celebrates its 70th anniversary this week, we share its illuminating focus on the journalists through the decades.
Present-day reporter David Harrison interviewed some of the characters from the past 70 years and revealed their highs, lows – and anecdotes – from their time at the paper.
Chloe Rigby joined in 1999 as a reporter and has since become business editor.
Her career highlight is going up in a balloon at the Bristol balloon Fiesta in 2000 – as well as securing the business editor job.
Low spots include counting the number of motorists using a park-and-ride service on its opening day, and being designated Christmas Fairy, and covering all the festive stories one year.
Her most famous person ever interviewed are Bob Geldof and Geoff Hoon.
Covering the 1980s is district news editor Dennis Payter, unusual in moving from being a Linotype operator to becoming a reporter.
Career highlight: Successfully searching Monaco on two trips to find missing children in a love-tug row and getting them back home. Dennis also found a man living “on the road”, who had inherited thousands of pounds in an American will.
Lowlights: Covering Bristol Rovers’ failure to win planning permission for a new ground; council budget-setting meetings that ended in the small hours; working in the greenhouse/ice box of the old Bath office.
Most famous person interviewed: Linda McCartney/Monica Seles.
Tim Davey, who covers the 1970s is still there as TV editor but has been a district reporter, business editor and news editor.
Highlights: Being in at the beginning of some of the biggest breaking news stories such as the Falklands conflict and the Gulf War.
Low spots: Pursuing Jim Davidson around Bristol for a story.
Most famous people interviewed: Hard to choose between Mr Blobby or Rod Hull’s Emu.
Back in the 60s it was Quita Morgan‘s paper. She’s now working in the same office but at the Western Daily Press.
Highlights: Misspending my youth in the old EP building. It was cramped, smoky and noisy (remember what a chorus of clattering typewriters was like, in contrast to today’s silent and isolating screens?) Despite all that, to me it was magical. I was the only girl reporter on the Post in the early days, amid a cast of spellbinding characters.
Most famous person interviewed: Probably Cary Grant on his honeymoon.
Paul Fluck covers the 1950s – he worked at the Post between 1958 and 1992, as motoring writer, council correspondent and assistant news editor.
Highlights: I very much enjoyed reporting Bristol City Council affairs for nearly 20 years for the Evening World, Western Daily Press and Evening Post.
Low points: None.
Most famous person interviewed: Tony Benn.
Any stories you wish you hadn’t written? The chairman of Cheltenham Town Football Club told the supporters’ club chairman that a leading member had died. So I included this in my report for the Gloucestershire Echo, for whom I was working at the time. In fact, he was still alive – but died several days later!
Back to the 1940s with Norman Walters – senior reporter, sub, chief reporter, news editor, editor of all the Bristol weeklies.
Highlights: My official title of Country Editor was camouflage for a special assignment to prepare closure of the Evening World and capture circulation.
Low spots: Nothing major.
Most famous interviewee: Bob Hope, Gracie Fields, Norman Hartnell, Billy Butlin etc. Talked with Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Margaret Thatcher and John Major.
1930s – Denis Curthoys, Evening Post from 1932 to 1979.
Highlights: Sorry, not conceited enough.
Low spot: When Walter Hawkins retired.
Any other comments: I worked for five shillings a week without holidays for 12 months and worked Saturdays.
Back to the Bygones index
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