Keith Harrison, the former chief northern reporter of the Press Association, has died after a long illness. He was 78.
He was in charge of rescue operations after Donald Campbell’s tragic water speed record attempt on Coniston Water in 1967, and had worked for PA for 26 years.
Based in Manchester and Leeds during much of that time, he had many exclusive stories to his credit – but the greatest of all was scooping the disaster which killed his friend Campbell during that ill-fated attempt in Bluebird, which somersaulted and smashed at a speed of about 300mph.
The South Wales Argus has a new celebrity blogger on its website – DJ Chris Evans.
The entertainer ran his blog for a week in the run up to a special broadcast from the front room of someone’s house, and readers were asked to come up with some suggestions for Chris and sights for him to see while he was there.
Assistant Editor Mark Templeton, who convinced the star to blog, said: “Although Chris has his own blog on the Radio 2 site he could see the advantage of blogging with us to get good ideas from local people.”
and her beer
Proving the old adage that journalists really do like their drink, reporters on the Wandsworth Borough News have been storing up a collection of four cases of Special Ale from the borough’s feted Ram Brewery under their desks… but the kind-hearted hacks were only looking after the brews in the name of charity.
When the News heard Wandsworth’s much-loved brewery was closing, chief reporter Andy Westbrook got hold of a batch of the final brews, and arranged for them to be auctioned of in aid of the Phab charity which works to break down boundaries between disabled and able bodied people.
The auction, where bids came in via the surreycomet.co.uk website, raised £151.
Almost 13,000 votes were polled in a Warrington Guardian contest to win the opportunity to switch on the town’s Christmas lights.
For the first time, the paper teamed up with the organisers to offer two lucky readers the chance for their 15 minutes of fame.
Over two months, the contenders were whittled down to a shortlist, with the four adult and two under 18 nominees then battling it out for the right to flick the switch in an online poll.
Warrington Guardian news editor Gareth Dunning said: “It was a phenomonal response.”
Two hundred and thirty guests including environmentalists, MPs, council leaders, business leaders and 30 finalists and their families, went to Sandown Park to celebrate the achievements of south west London’s Green Guardians, in an event staged by Newsquest in South London.
It was the culmination of a nine month quest by the South London Guardian series, in a unique partnership with five borough councils, to identify and reward local people and organisations taking the environmental lead.