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Lensman focuses on retirement after 45 years

South Wales Evening Post chief photographer Alan Trethewy has retired after an amazing 45 years working for the Swansea-based newspaper.

He first joined the newspaper as a layout designer in the advertising department but as soon as there was a vacancy in photographic he turned his hobby into his job and became a trainee photographer.

During his 45 years at the paper he has seen technology take giant strides forward, moving on from plate cameras through to paper before being responsible for introducing the digital age to the Evening Post.

He has covered thousands of assignments but says the one that sticks out most was the Aberfan disaster in 1966 where he was the first photographer from the Evening Post on the scene.

The collapse of a slag heap in the small South Wales mining town killed 144 children and teachers when their school was engulfed.

Alan (above) also photographed Swansea’s Hollywood star Catherine Zeta Jones when she was just nine years old and photographed Richard Burton and Liz Taylor in Burton’s home village of Pontrhydyfen near Port Talbot. The miners’ strike in the 1980s and the firemen’s strike in the same decade also stand out in his memory, as does covering the Pope’s visit to Cardiff.

He was also carried by police and frogmarched from St Helen’s rugby ground in Swansea during a 1970s Springbok tour, when police were dealing with anti-apartheid protesters at the match.

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed my career, the variety of events I have covered and the people I have met.”

After hanging up his camera for the last time, Alan is going to relax with his family, spend time with his grandchildren and catch up with some jobs around the house.

He also plans to do some travelling, cycling and walking.

Evening Post picture editor Steve Phillips said: “Alan will be truly missed from the photographic department and the newspaper as a whole.

“He has a wealth of knowledge and experience which has been invaluable to the paper.

“His calm professional approach to his job has taught me a lot personally and has been an example to his colleagues.”

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