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Video depicts day in the life of regional daily, circa 1991

A half-hour video depicting a day in the life of a regional daily in the early 90s has come to light after 26 years.

The documentary about the workings of the then Coventry Evening Telegraph was originally shot in 1991 for a local cable TV company.

It has now come to light after being posted on YouTube by Alan Denyer, who was given a VHS copy by one of the paper’s former print room staff.

Mr Denyer, who runs a property restoration company, is currently overseeing the creation of a pop-up gallery and art space at the newspaper’s former offices in Corporation Street, which are due to be turned into an hotel next year.


The Telegraph’s former offices where the 1991 video was shot

The film offers a snapshot of life in a newspaper office in the pre-internet age – and of how much the media world has changed since then.

Early in the film, narrator Stuart Linnell, who went on to become a well-known BBC broadcaster in the Midlands, says: “For most people buying a newspaper is part of the daily routine.”

Among the scenes depicted are crime reporter Sue Lary meeting with Detective Inspector Matt Sawers fom Coventry Police, who briefs her on that day’s crimes.

The big crime story of the day is a robbery at the Tandy store in Fairfax Street where three robbers went in as the store was closing, blindfolded and bound the sales assistants and stole money from the till.

The film also features an interview with Neil Benson, then the paper’s editor, who went on to become editorial director for Trinity Mirror’s regional titles.

And another segment focuses on sports editor Roger Draper and the paper’s coverage of Coventry City FC who were in the old First Division at the time.

There are even hints as to the indistry’s future direction, with the photographic department – then nine-strong – using the latest technology to turn a negative into a digital image.

The video can now been seen in full on the Coventry Telegraph website.


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  • July 5, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I cannot find the link on the Coventry Telegraph website. Any chance you could publish it, please?

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  • July 5, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    The great thing about this video is that it shows the evident pride in the title among all its workers, machine shop, print works, composing room and the family feel that papers had.
    In my days in the newsroom you went from typewriters, noisy phones and overhead suction pipe methods of communication to sterile, public library-style dullness, without that feeling of spontaneous activity.
    We had van drivers phone in with stories they saw, ad reps tipping us off about takeovers and all sorts – everyone was involved.
    Especially the public, the readers who very much get second best these days in the desire to make every single penny off the business before it dies.

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  • July 5, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Ahhh, a trip down amnesia avenue! For any togs the interesting bit is from 14:04 to 17:33. Togs then seemed to be sooooo much older (like me how heh-heh-heh!) and there’s a lovely shot of a Nikon F4s with SB22 or 23 attached being hoisted aloft. :-) No lens on it though. :-(

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  • July 5, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    This video evokes more nostalgia than Fred and Ginger – I’m actually quite proud to have been part of that…

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  • July 5, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    As a product of a post-2000 newsroom, I found this a fascinating watch. The sheer number of processes and people involved in every single page is mind-boggling by today’s standards.

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  • July 6, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Recognised this building immediately. I’m a Cov Kid, now working on the Hull Daily Mail. I grew up reading the Telegraph (after my old man had completed his crossword – took him 40 + years to win!). Great memories of work ex there.
    Really hope Cov wins UK City of Culture 2021. Genuinely, it’s done wonders for Hull. Cov, like my adopted city, has contributed a hell of a lot to the UK.

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  • July 6, 2017 at 11:00 am

    That video brought a lump to my throat. It’s also amusing to see two versions of Neil Benson on HTFP in the same week, 26 years apart…

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