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Long-standing press photographer retires after 44 years

A regional press photographer worked in newspapers for 44 years has retired.

Long-standing Lennox Herald snapper Brian Averell, pictured left, has left the weekly paper after a career in local newspapers which started in 1968.

He started out at the Helensburgh Advertiser as an editorial assistant after leaving school and worked his way up to become an experienced photographer, leaving 10 years later.

Brian then set up a freelance agency with Lennox Herald photographer David Mitchell, dealing with weddings, portraits and corporate work, before he joined the Herald, where he has remained ever since.

Said Brian: “My first job was with the Helensburgh Advertiser as an editorial assistant. I had applied for the job the previous year and was told to come back when I’d sat my O-Grades, so I did.

“Craig Jeffrey, who owned the paper then, said he admired my tenacity and gave me the job. I left school on the Friday and started work on the Monday.

“It was all black and white when I started and you had to process and print everything yourself. You got one chance to get it right in those days and it wasn’t until you saw the photograph that you knew you had it.”

Brian has taken tens of thousands of photos since working at the Herald and was a familiar sight at every occasion locally from school prizegivings to retirement parties.

He has met a number of celebrities during his career, including U2 front man Bono and actor Roger Moore who was filming Bond movie Live and Let Die at a local naval base, while he has also photographed Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

Brian has received a number of award nominations during his career and was runner-up in the Kodak Award features category for a photograph of the band Hothouse Flowers in 1991.

He said: “More people know me than I know them. Many will nod and say hello in the street because they obviously recognise me.

“You get to know people which is nice. I’ve been at golden weddings where the couple have reminded me I took their silver wedding pictures.

“Or I might meet a mum with two children who tells me I took her photo when she was a young dancer.”

Brian is now registered as partially-sighted and unable to drive, which has made his job more difficult, and he has decided the time is right to leave.

He will continue to take photographs as a hobby and wants to spend more time with his wife Janette in his retirement.

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  • January 3, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Talented, polite, persistent, imaginative — Brian made the right decision when he switched from trainee reporter to photographer and is highly regarded in this area. All the best for a long and happy retirement.

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