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Sixties newsroom inspires former journalist’s latest book

A crime novel inspired by life in a 1960s local newsroom has been written by a former journalist.

Peter Bartram has had Stop Press Murder published by Roundfire Books in paperback and e-book formats.

It tells the story of Colin Crampton, the crime reporter on a fictional newspaper in 1960s Brighton, who gets caught up in a conspiracy while investigating the death of a man on the pier.

Peter, below, spent time as a reporter on the nearby Worthing Herald in 1966 before going to university, later working on newspapers and magazines in London before turning freelance.

Peter Bartram

He said: “we had 14 people in the newsroom. We were working on typewriters in those days, the old sit-up-and-beg typewriters, and when you had 14 people all writing on typewriters, it was quite a racket.

“But I thoroughly enjoyed it – and I am recalling some of that atmosphere in the book.”

The novel is the fourth in his ‘Crampton of the Chronicle’ mystery series.

Of the book itself, Peter added: “It is actually set in Brighton in the 1960s, and our hero works for a fictional newspaper there. He is the crime reporter of that newspaper, and in order to get his front-page splashes he actually has to solve some of the crimes.

“Colin is a young chap. In the first book he is 28, and he has got very high-flown ideals about justice and about righting wrongs and getting it right.

“But at the same time he is very crafty and devious. He will pull any journalistic trick to get his story. He is putting all these low tricks to high ends, he thinks. The end justifies the means.”