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Journalist who was an ‘ambassador’ for titles dies

A journalist who worked at newspapers in Liverpool for three decades has died, aged 78.

Peter Saunders, originally from Derby, worked at  the Liverpool Daily Post and the Liverpool Echo for more than 30 years

When he was 16 Peter was conscripted into the RAF as a National Serviceman. He had volunteered to do an extra year and during his time with the RAF in the 1950s learned shorthand, typing and took a course in freelance journalism.

After leaving the air force, he took up writing in Lancashire, where he eventually went on to edit two weekly newspaper titles.

From there he joined the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, spending 32 years with the company as a news reporter and feature writer for both papers.

Liverpool Daily Post editor Mark Thomas said: “Peter was a wonderful reporter with a remarkable list of contacts and a tremendous depth of knowledge. He knew everyone on the Wirral, and was a wonderful ambassador for our newspapers.

“He was also a true gentleman, and I am one of the many who benefited from his experience and encouragement when I was a young reporter.”

He and his wife, Sheila, who had two daughters and a son, had only last month celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Peter, who died at home on 12 August after a long illness, was well known in The Wirral. 

Editor of weekly title the Wirral Globe  Leigh Marles said: “Peter knew Wirral better than anyone else around.

“When I got my first job as a wet-behind-the-ears trainee reporter, it seemed to me that not a leaf would fall in the borough without Peter knowing about it.

“His generous nature and kind heart meant he would help anyone, especially a struggling reporter trying to make sense of a complex public meeting or something similar.

“He’d go through his notes afterwards to make sure I had all the relevant points covered and correct names.

“That’s something that just would never happen today.”

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  • August 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you for piece on Peter who I met when we were both working on Lancashire papers, through a mutual NUJ friend. Tributes have flooded in- not just from former colleagues but representatives of some of the various organisations he gave valuable publicity to even after retirement in 1993.Throughout his working life he received acknowledgement from local police chiefs, the Wirral Coroner, politicians and councillors, information officers, hospital managers etc for his objectivity and integrity- was he one of the last to respect the’ off the record’ proviso ? According to our human rights journalist daughter this is unobserved today- also he would never have been guilty of the flagrant breaches of ‘contempt of court’ common on front pages now. He had a fantastic Gregg shorthand note, a great interview manner, an ability to turn technical and medical terms and council reports into readable English, this even often approaching midnight, and had his own ways of avoiding doorstepping when unnecessary distress would be caused. Yet the day after the Hillsborough disaster it was therapeutic for a neighbour who was traumatised by escaping the ground, to sit with Peter and ‘pour it all out’ whether his contribution was used in the LDP or not. He had very long working days writing for both the Post and the Echo, but was never less than totally conscientious even when copy was spiked or disastrously cut. In his fifties he was still doing the job of a twenty-year-old but with extra maturity judgment and understanding. He was a wonderful husband and father, friend to many and member of a ‘village’ community in Hoylake, but always said the whole peninsula was full of interesting and public spirited people. Note please- (Wirral- not the Wirral!!!) Peter died on August 11- not 12…. Thank you

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