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Ah Jack Bennet! He sat to my right on the subs desk, smoking his pie and disappearing from time to time for a swift pint in the Brown Horse. His record was 8 minutes from desk to desk! Famous for his book of boobs which sadly appears to have been mislaid. So many familiar faces there - Helen, Bob Young, Michael Mc Dowell, David Barzilay. Tom Carson and the blog meiister, to name but a few. Jack was a wonderful colleague full of sharp sayings. He took up motorcycling in his 60s when he bought a Honda 600 as I recall. The reason I was working during the festivities was down to Eugene Wason. He bequeathed me the motoring colum after Des Morrow was sadly killed in a crash on his way home from the Larne Motor Club dinner. Eugene Wason believed that subs should be encouraged to write hence me on motoring, Keith Baker on television, Chris Harbinson on music reviews etc. So between subbing and doing lay-outs I was on the phone doing some motor noting. Very productive might I say
Toggle Commented May 4, 2022 on Mr Hack 191 at TheCopyboys
Was surprised to learn of the passing of Martin Wallace. He made it to a remarkable age considering the hazards of the lifestyle we once lived. JES could not make up his mind about me, fresh out of student journalism at Queen's, so he sent me down to Martin 's house in Helen's Bay for a second opinion - Martin was on leave at the time. But I think the moment I pulled out a notebook to write down his address was when I secured the job. "Do you always carry a note book?" JES asked me. BINGO! Martin emigrated to the BBC when Eugene Wason was appointed editor. He had been seen as the chosen successor to the great man. But the Thomson organisation, then owners of the Belfast Telegraph had a wee problem as Wason was booted out of Rhodesia for his liberal views and the edited there was seized by the Smith regime. After a year or so on the weeklies - Carrick and Ballymena - I was brought back to Belfast and was put on Chichester, which is when I first met our Blogmaster. Features was on the right as you went into the big room. There was Billy and She. A guy called Bob Shaw showed me the ropes - think he went on to write science fiction books. Gerry Rafferty was around and said nice things about my efforts at colour writing. So was my old friend Brian Bell whom I kept in touch with over the years - used to visit him and his American wife Diane at their fairy-tale cottage near Henley-on-Thames. Sadly he died a few years ago… have many of the others I worked with in those early days.
Toggle Commented May 4, 2022 on Martin Wallace: obituary, tribute at TheCopyboys
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