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‘Help me find my first ever byline’ says expat editor

StanA former regional daily deputy editor is hoping to celebrate 40 years in journalism by finding his first ever byline.

Stan Szecowka, who served as second-in-command at both the Bristol Evening Post and Hull Daily Mail, is calling on HTFP readers to help him find the elusive cutting from a 1976 edition of the Banbury Cake.

Stan, pictured, has been based in Bahrain for the past decade, where he serves as editor of English language publication Gulf Weekly.

His career began at the Cake aged 16, when he and a friend were interviewed by its then-editor Graham Wilton about a hitchhiking holiday to Poland, where they had visited Stan’s late father’s family.

During the interview Stan mentioned he wanted to be a journalist when he left school, and three days later he was offered a trainee reporter, photographer and tea-boy position on £12 a week.

However, Stan’s sister accidentally disposed of most of his old cuttings from his career in the UK when he moved to the Middle East.

Said Stan: “The first byline I ever got was for the weekly film review which meant a walk over to the town’s cinema, a cup of tea, and picking up next week’s top movie synopsis, returning to the office and rewriting it for movie-fans.

“I treasured that by-line and have ended up chasing them ever since.”

He has so far tried the Cake’s office, the local library, Graham’s son and the Bygone Banbury website with no luck to date.

Stan worked at the Cake for two years before progressing, via the Marlow Times and Milton Keynes Mirror, to the Lincolnshire Echo.

Following a brief stint at the Northants Evening Telegraph he became news editor at the Derby Evening Telegraph.

After that he joined Mike Lowe as his assistant editor at The Citizen, Gloucester, later working as deputy editor and acting editor of the Hull Daily Mail.

He teamed up with Mike again in Bristol, later launching his own newspaper the Clifton Chronicle after leaving the Evening Post in 2005.


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  • January 28, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Stan, next time you are over, go to the British Library newspaper collection and look it up yourself?

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  • January 28, 2016 at 8:59 am

    You will be able to see it on microfiche and make an instant A4 print.

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  • January 28, 2016 at 9:12 am

    That’s a tad uncalled for Idle Rich. If I was based in London I’d be more than happy to help Stan out.

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  • January 28, 2016 at 9:39 am

    What Stan needs now is a kind hearted Londoner to provide the next chapter.

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  • January 28, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I’d help him but where I’m based might as well be in the Gulf.

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