“Unrealistic” payment demands, says editor-in-chief

Marc Reeves, 2016x.jpeg

A West Midlands newspaper editor has claimed hyperlocals’ calls for payment from other outlets which follow up their stories are “unrealistic” – but says he is open to other forms of collaboration with such titles.


Birmingham Press Club director Marc Reeves (pictured), who edits the Birmingham Mail and its sister website Birmingham Live, says he does not believe larger news organisations “should seek permission or make payments” to pursue stories initially published by hyperlocals.

In an interview with former South Wales Evening Post and Nottingham Post journalist Jane Haynes, who runs Worcestershire-based site Wyre Life, Marc added he could not foresee a scenario where he was “going to sack a reporter” to pay hyperlocals to provide copy for him.

Media website Hold The Front Page reports that Marc’s comments come after Cardiff University’s Centre for Community Journalism last month secured funding from Google to develop tools aimed at helping hyperlocal titles make money from stories they publish, as well as enabling them to track other organisations picking up their content online.

Earlier this year Emma Meese, director of Cardiff-based hyperlocal trade body the Independent Community News Network, also raised concerns from members that their content was being “stolen” by bigger publishers.

But Marr told Jane: “I don’t get the idea that we should seek permission or make payments to pursue a story published by a hyperlocal. Once it’s in the public domain it’s out there, isn’t it?

“Expecting other publishers to ignore a story because Wyre Life, or whoever, has done it first, or to pay to carry the story once it’s been published is, I think, unrealistic.

“My reporters dig out stories all the time that are picked up by [an agency] and sold on without us or them benefiting.”

But Marc also expressed an interest in collaborating with hyperlocals in other ways, admitting there had been a past “arrogance” in the way mainstream media outlets had treated the hyperlocal sector.

He said: “I am definitely open to the idea of working together. That might involve exchanging resources, sharing information and expertise, working together on stories or campaigns – I can see merit in that type of holistic approach, one in which we are spreading our wings a bit more into the edges around Birmingham.

“It would be great for campaigns like BrumFeeds [Birmingham Live’s campaign to collect food donations and cash for homeless and vulnerable people] to be shared across as many media as possible. We could pre-arrange joint coverage, have collection points in outlying communities where hyperlocals operate, and so on.

“But we are massively constrained financially. So if I wanted to, say, pay a hyperlocal or group of hyperlocals to provide copy to us, am I going to sack a reporter to do so? I can’t see that happening.”

From newspaper competition winner to barrister

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A criminal barrister, who now works in Chambers in Birmingham, has thanked a regional daily newspaper after it helped set her on the path to achieving her ambition of starting a career in the legal profession.


Jeanette Stevenson (pictured) won a £9,500 scholarship to study for a three-year degree at the University of Derby through a Derby Telegraph competition 2008.

Jeanette’s application to the Telegraph “stood out” because she was fostered from the age of nine due to the death of both of her parents and, at 16, left to find her own accommodation and full-time employment in place of further education.

The 34-year-old subsequently graduated with a degree in law and criminology in 2011, but was unable to pursue her preferred career due to “complications in her personal life, including the breakdown of her marriage”. Now she started work at Cornwall Street Chambers, in Birmingham.

Jeanette said: “I cannot thank the Derby Telegraph and the University of Derby enough for giving me the start to my career.”

Telegraph editor Steve Hall said: “When we interviewed Jeanette, she came across as someone who would do extremely well if she was given the chance to undertake a degree. I think the judging panel was unanimous in selecting her for one of the scholarships and I am delighted that the newspaper was able to give her the opportunity to fulfill her ambition. We wish her well for the future.”


Worcester Five Head Off to Radio

 Emma Trim, left, and Kathryn Emerson

Emma Trim, left, and Kathryn Emerson


Five journalism students at the University of Worcester – including Kathryn Emerson, a winner at last year’s Midlands Media Awards (MMA)  - have landed jobs with the BBC.

The successful journalism degree course students had all undertaken placements on a scheme the university runs in association with the Corporation.

Three of the five were in paid work while still studying - Kathryn as a broadcast assistant at BBC Shropshire, while Max Banner and Emma Trim were at BBC Hereford-Worcester.

Emma was snapped up as a reporter by BBC Gloucestershire and Kathryn, who continued working as a freelancer at the Shropshire radio station, has now joined the Gloucestershire station as a social media producer, creating videos for Facebook.

Kathryn, 22, originally from Bishops Castle, Shropshire, said: “The course was hugely beneficial to me and I’m grateful for all the help and support from my lecturers.”

Emma, 24, who is from Christchurch, Dorset, said: “I now work alongside the very people at the BBC who came in as guest speakers to my lectures. Sometimes I forget how far I’ve come since leaving university, but it really was the best decision I ever made.”

Graduate Hayden Atkins, from Birmingham, has just moved from Made in Birmingham TV to BBC Channel Isles as a senior broadcast journalist. He said: “To get a BBC job at 22 is a dream come true and something I hoped would happen when I started the course at Worcester in 2013.”

Charlotte Broadbent, who has worked at BBC Hereford-Worcester as a freelancer since graduating, has just secured a broadcast journalist contract with them She said: “The skills I developed during news days on the university course have been directly transferred to my current job at the radio station – skills such as newsgathering, building contacts and being able to make editorial decisions about the different treatment of news stories have played an integral prole in the work I do now.”

Max Banner, who went straight into work as Online Editor at Koru Media Limited, contributes to the BBC’s football and horse racing coverage after completing a one-month placement with BBC Sport England at the Mailbox, Birmingham.

He said: “The BBC Placements helped me to establish some footing with the radio station.”

The students follow in the footsteps of other graduates, including Justyn Surrall at BBC Hereford-Worcester and Will Fyfe at BBC Wales.

Claire Wolfe, principal lecturer in journalism, who oversees the BBC partnership, said: “The BBC is a great employer and the placements offer our students an opportunity to become truly professional journalists. The staff on the course are all dedicated to giving our students the very best start to their careers and we stay in touch, letting them know of potential contacts and opportunities after they have left. We never forget them and are as delighted as they are when they achieve success.”

The university’s journalism course has received Broadcast Journalism Training Council accreditation until 2021, while Official Unistats figures show 100 per cent of the university’s 2017 journalism graduates achieved work within six months.


Royal greetings on newspaper’s milestone anniversary


The Queen has congratulated a West Midlands newspaper after it celebrated its 150th anniversary on Wednesday, 8 August.


Her Majesty offered her “warm good wishes” to the Tamworth Herald, which has marked a century-and-a-half in print, in a letter from her assistant private secretary Tom Laing-Baker.

The Herald, which has twice won the Newspaper of the Year accolade at the Press Club-organised Midlands Media Awards, splashed on the milestone in its birthday edition, pictured, and also ran a special 24-page supplement honouring the occasion.

The supplement includes a story about the Queen’s letter, a feature on the history of the paper, a look back at all the editors and goodwill messages from the town’s dignitaries.

There are also nine pages of pictures of the Herald offices, presses and staff from through the years, memories of a former editor and photographers, and a piece on a couple of the paper’s oldest readers.

The edition also features a back page sports feature about how a letter to the Herald was the starting point for the formation of Tamworth Football Club.

Executive editor Charlotte Hart said: “It has been a delight to serve the community of Tamworth and surrounding areas over the years.

“While the paper – and the world of media in general – has changed considerably during our history, a desire to bring communities together in an informed and professional manner still remains our top priority.

“We are very proud to be a local newspaper and still strongly value the important role we play within our town.

“To reach 150 years is a remarkable achievement and we hope our readers enjoy reading about our history, as much as we have enjoyed putting the supplement together.”


A chance in a million?

 Keith Gascoigne

Keith Gascoigne

 David Cooper

David Cooper

One of those “hair raising” moments was an unexpected bonus when retired PR consultant David Cooper unwrapped a package from Amazon bookshop, having purchased on-line a used copy of Man of Wolverhampton-the Life and Times of Sir Charles Marston, the biography of the son of John Marston, founder of the Sunbeam car company in 1888 for £4.50.


Removing the wrapper and eagerly flicking through the 255 pages, some loose correspondence fell from the end cover. Somewhat surprised, closer scrutiny revealed a “With Compliments” slip bearing the familiar logo of Birmingham industrial conglomerate IMI.  Triggering the chilling, hair - on the - back - of – the - neck sensation, in fountain pen blue ink was the signature of Keith Gascoigne, a former chairman of Birmingham Press Club and ex-public affairs manager of the Witton Road, Aston, based IMI HQ.

Keith, who was a leading light in the Midlands media world for more than 50 years, died in 2013 aged 86. He started his career as a reporter/sub-editor on the Sheffield Telegraph in 1949. Five years later he joined the Daily Express as a sub-editor before joining The Birmingham Post in 1955.

Keith then switched to The Guardian as its Birmingham-based correspondent before returning to The Birmingham Post in 1963 as the paper’s first Business Editor, serving under Post Editor David Hopkinson. Keith Gascoigne (pictured), a former well-known Midlands journalist and public relations consultant for more than 50 years, has died in Warwick Hospital, aged 86.

His funeral will be at Lapworth Church on Monday, June 10, at 12 noon.

Keith, a former chairman of Birmingham Press Club, started his career as a reporter/sub-editor on the Sheffield Telegraph in 1949. Five years later he joined the Daily Express as a sub-editor before joining The Birmingham Post in 1955.

Keith then switched to The Guardian as its Birmingham-based correspondent before returning to The Birmingham Post in 1963 as the paper’s first Business Editor, serving under Post Editor David Hopkinson.

After leaving the Post in 1969, Keith became PR Manager at IMI plc in Birmingham.

Later, he established his own PR company, GMA, and his clients included IMI, Society of Gas Industries, Edge Ellison and Hymatic. He retired in 1994.

After leaving the Post in 1969, Keith became PR Manager at IMI plc in Birmingham, later establishing his own PR company, GMA

David said: “Spooky, weird, uncanny. It was all of them. In the 1970’s/80’s during my role as president of the Birmingham Publicity Association I spent many enjoyable and memorable hours in Keith’s company at media industry lunches and at the bar of the all - too – comfortable – to -leave Birmingham Press club.”

Also inserted in the book was a letter addressed to the managing director of Marston Radiators, Sheffield. The letter dated 1979 coincides with the publication date of Man of Wolverhampton co-authored by Charles Marston’s daughters Marjorie von Harten and Melissa Marston. He became managing director of Villiers Engineering, Wolverhampton famous for the freewheel mechanism for pedal cycles and later for its 2 stroke motorcycle engine in 1890.
David, who retired from David Cooper Public Relations in 2014, is a regular guest contributor to the weekly newspaper The Black Country Bugle on subjects of the region’s industrial heritage.

Former Goodyear Dunlop Comms Director joins Reeves PR

Birmingham-based PR, social media and communications agency Reeves has welcomed a former Goodyear Dunlop EMEA Marketing and Communications Director to lead its newly-created unit that will focus on the automotive, manufacturing and vehicle technology sectors.

James Bailey will take the helm of the dedicated unit at Reeves, joining the consultancy as it launches ambitious expansion plans.

James, who has more than 30 years’ experience working on a range of brands and businesses in the automotive, manufacturing, commercial vehicle, motorcycle and motorsport sectors, started his new role on August 1.

He said: “This is a time of revolution for the automotive industry, with autonomy, energy sources, emissions and efficiency high on the news agenda.

“I look forward to developing and executing campaigns that help our clients to differentiate their technologies in a challenging media environment. Having been a Reeves client for several years, I have relied on the consultancy to deliver clear, strategic and proactive communications thanks to their understanding of their client and their market. That skillset and attitude attracted me to working within their team.”

Under the leadership of Managing Director and Founder Clive Reeves, a director of Birmingham Press Club, Reeves has built a strong portfolio of UK and international clients since launching nine years ago, including  Selfridges, Park Regis Hotels, Goodyear Dunlop, Guest Truck and Van, and Colmore Tang Construction.

“Thanks to an agile, creative and business-focused team, we have been able to attract and retain communications work for an impressive range of companies and brands,” said Clive.

“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved, and as we plan for our second decade of growth it is important that we continue to build a team of both social media and content creation experts and ‘eye to the news’ professionals who underpin our strong PR offering.

Police action – after long-running “abuse” investigation by newspaper

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Dozens of attacks on children are to be investigated by police following an award-winning investigation by the Derby Telegraph.

The newspaper’s 2016 exposé – which won it the “Story of the Year” award at the Press Club-organised Midlands Media Awards - into experiments on children at Aston Hall mental hospital led to dozens of former patients sharing claims of abuse at the hands of Dr Kenneth Milner in the 1960s and 1970s. Now Derbyshire Police has announced it is investigating more than 100 claims of abuse at the hospital.

The story began with a tip-off from a contact of crime reporter Isaac Crowson and the abuse only came to light after a long-running and determined investigation by the Derby Telegraph, resulting in Derbyshire Police’s biggest-ever child abuse probe.

Detectives have questioned 115 patients and say 65 are being treated as victims, with the force also confirming that if Dr Milner, who died in 1976, were alive he would have been quizzed over rape, indecent assault and child cruelty allegations.


HuffPost’s Birmingham “Adventure”


Journalists with leading news website Huffington Post – now re-branded as HuffPost – marked their week-long newsroom relocation to Birmingham with a visit to the Press Club.

Editor-in-chief Polly Curtis (left) is pictured here, outside the Press Club’s base in St Paul’s Square, with colleague Louise Ridley (centre), Press Club directors Llewela Bailey, Bob Warman and Marc Reeves, and Steve Gracey, senior media relations manager with HSBC UK, who are overall sponsors of the Press Club.

HuffPost was founded in the US in 2005 and launched itself in the UK in July 2011.

It moved its 45-strong newsroom to Birmingham to “step away” from the London media bubble – and to tell the “real story” of the UK. Setting up a base in the Bull Ring, it sent its journalists out into the city – and invited the public to get in touch with their own stories.

Polly, previously digital editor at The Guardian and director of media at the British Red Cross, is one of the most respected online journalists in the UK. She is only the third editor of the UK website since its launch in 2011, when it had a team of six.


On the look-out for comms manager


BT is looking for an experienced external communications manager to join a new team and work on building BT’s reputation with local media in England.

The successful candidate will be based either in the Midlands or North West but will work across the English regions.

Apart from creating and developing strategic PR programmes, the successful applicant will support sponsorship activities, prepare press releases, blogs and broadcast interview opportunities, as well as providing strategic advice to senior management on local issues and build relationships locally and regionally with key influencers and stakeholders.

The closing date for applications is 17 July (11.59 pm)

Full details may be obtained by logging onto:



It’s Fun, Competitive – And It Keeps You Fit

 Bob Haywood -  kitted out for action

Bob Haywood -  kitted out for action

As World Cup fever intensifies, former investigative journalist BOB HAYWOOD reveals an unlikely side to the beautiful game – walking football.

I never thought I’d be 74 before scoring my first double hat-trick in a competitive football match.

But I did!

I started playing football 50 years ago and I can’t recall notching up too many single hat-tricks, even though I was a striker.

In truth, I wasn’t very good. Well, I did go to a rugby-playing school.

But I’ve finally found my niche . . . in walking football.

Before you start chuckling, it’s a darned sight more energetic, competitive and skilful than you might think.

And there isn’t a lot of walking going on, either.

In my younger days, I played 11-a-side parks league football for Warley Press FC and later Birmingham Press FC.

But my not-so-glittering ‘career’ came to a catastrophic end in 1984 when I suffered a double-fracture of my right leg in an over-the-top tackle.

It was 12 months before I fully recovered. By then, I was 40 and I knew I would never play football again.

Or so I thought . . . !

In 2014, I joined Hartshill Strollers Walking Football Club in Dudley which had just started with just four members and now has nearly 70 members – aged from 50 to 86.

I went on to become club vice chairman, assistant manager and Press officer, and I now manage the club’s Over 65 team.

I play twice a week, for an hour, year-round, outdoor on a 3G all-weather pitch at Summerhill School, Kingswinford.

My six-goal bonanza in a single match came in the inaugural walking football tournament organised by The Albion Foundation – the community arm of West Bromwich Albion FC – on 28 June 2018.

Meanwhile, Hartshill Strollers Over 65s have reached the Central regional final of the Walking Football Association (WFA) National Cup 2018 – WF’s equivalent of the FA Cup.

The crunch match will be played later in the summer. Our opponents – and the venue and date of the match - have yet to be decided.

Walking football – mainly for the Over 50s - is one of the fastest-growing sports in Britain. More than 1,000 clubs are affiliated to the WFA in England alone, with another 250 in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Around 35,000 men – and women – play on a regular basis in the UK.

Many professional football clubs are now involved in WF, as are top stars of the past, including Alan Kennedy, ex-Liverpool, Newcastle United and England; and Brian Kilcline, captain of Coventry City’s 1987 FA Cup-winning team.

A walking football European Cup will be staged next year and a World Cup in 2020.

Walking football (WF) is normally played on a five-a-side pitch, with five-a-side goals.

Teams are normally six- or seven-a-side; running is supposedly banned as is robust tackling; the ball must stay below head height (so no heading); and neither attackers nor defenders are allowed into the penalty areas.

Infringements lead to the awarding of a free kick – and, for repeat offending, a sin-binning, or even a sending off.

The trick is to play to feet, pass in triangles, and always keep on the move. It is very energetic, highly skilful – and fiercely competitive.

Well, it is the way we play it!

Walking football has become a big part of my life in retirement. I’m fit and healthy. You should give it a try.


Bob Haywood started in journalism as a cub reporter on the Smethwick Telephone in 1960. He later worked for the Express & Star and the Birmingham Mail.

In 1985, he became news editor of the Sunday Mercury in Birmingham.

He won many awards, mainly for investigative reporting, including being named Journalist of the Year in the BT Midlands Press & Broadcasting Awards in 1999 and in 2000, and was also named Trinity Mirror Reporter of the Year in 1999.

Bob took early retirement from the Sunday Mercury in 2003, at the age of 59, but continued to work for the paper as a freelance until 2016.



 Eve Pollard pictured at the first celebrity lunch with Alan Deeley (centre) and Gerry Armes

Eve Pollard pictured at the first celebrity lunch with Alan Deeley (centre) and Gerry Armes

Pioneering newspaper editor Eve Pollard is to make a return visit to the Midlands to attend the 25th anniversary celebration of the popular celebrity lunches run by the Journalists’ Charity when broadcaster and author Jeremy Paxman will be is the keynote speaker.

This year’s lunch is to take place at Villa Park on Friday, 5 October.

Eve, who became known as “the first lady of Fleet Street”, was only the second female editor of a national newspaper in the UK.  She was the guest speaker at the inaugural lunch, which was held at the Ben Johnson pub, then home to the Birmingham Press Club, in 1993.

The event has now become one of the highlights of the region’s social calendar attended by many the Midlands top media and business leaders.  Previous guest speakers have included Sir Trevor McDonald, Lord (Lew) Grade, Kate Adie, Chris Tarrant, Sir Michael Parkinson, Richard Branson, Fern Britton, Jon Snow, John Sergeant, Nick Robinson and Robert Peston. Together they have helped to raise nearly £400,000 for the charity in the Midlands.

The first lunch was attended by 100 people and the event has grown so much in popularity that the charity is expecting more than 250 guests at this year’s lunch.

Eve edited the Sunday Mirror from 1987 until 1991 and then the Sunday Express until 1994. She was the launch editor for Elle in the United States. Eve is a regular broadcaster and an accomplished author. She was made an OBE in 2008 and is a life vice president of the Journalists’ Charity.

For Jeremy it is also a return to the Midlands where he spent much of his childhood, living at Peopleton near Pershore and Bromsgrove and educated at Malvern College. He read English at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he edited the student newspaper Varsity.

The multi-award-winning broadcaster and writer will talk about his career spanning five decades in radio and television. Best known for his 25-year stint as the anchor of BBC Newsnight, Jeremy has also presented University Challenge since 1994. In a switch of roles, he will answer questions from lunch guests.

The first celebrity lunch was organised by Gerry Armes, then the Midlands branch chairman of the charity - previously known as the Newspaper Press Fund - and the late Alan Deeley who was also chairman of the Birmingham Press Club. Alan’s widow Val is currently the branch secretary.

Gerry, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, is a former chief sports photographer with the Birmingham Post and Mail. He is now the Midlands branch president of the charity, an appointment which recognises his tireless fund-raising work over many years.

He said: “I am delighted that Eve has accepted our invitation to attend our 25th anniversary lunch. What we started back in 1993 sowed the seeds for what has become one of the charity’s most successful and enjoyable fund-raising events in the country.”

Tickets are £55 per person with tables for 10 at £525. For booking information contact Val Deeley val.deeley@live.co.uk.

Debit/Credit card bookings are available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-audience-with-jeremy-paxman-journalists-charity-west-midlands-annual-lunch-tickets-42760047453.

For further information contact Laurie Upshon at laurie@upshon.com, Derek Inman at derek.inman@btopenworld.com or Val Deeley at val.deeley@live.co.uk.


Death of gentleman-journalist who “had a sense of community”

Ken Jackson (left) at his Birmingham Mail farewell presentation in 1977 (1).jpeg

A highly respected West Midlands journalist who played a pivotal role in the launch of the Channel Tunnel during a distinguished 50-year career in newspapers and PR has died.

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Ken Jackson (pictured) was Director of Corporate Affairs at Wolverhampton-based Tarmac when the construction giant was lobbying for the contract to help build the tunnel.

Ken, who has died at the age of 76 following a lengthy illness, helped mastermind the Tarmac publicity campaign, which eventually led to the construction of the historic UK-France link.

One of the biggest engineering projects ever undertaken in the UK, taking more than seven years with more than 13,000 workers from England and France, the Tunnel has been named one of the seven wonders of the modern world, opening in May 1994.

Ken's widow Hilary said: "Tarmac was one of the companies in the consortium to build the tunnel and Ken was in charge of the PR and marketing campaign at the time. He always said he helped secure the mandate for the Tunnel."

Born in Chadsmoor, Cannock, the miner's son began as a trainee reporter with the Cannock Advertiser before moving to newspapers in the North-East. He returned to the West Midlands in 1964 to work on the business desk of the Express and Star in Wolverhampton. He later joined the Birmingham Post as property editor before taking up his first PR job as Public Relations Manager with the Reliant Motor Company in Tamworth.

He returned to newspapers with the Birmingham Evening Mail from 1970 to 1977 before switching back to the PR world after being headhunted by legendary Tarmac boss Sir Eric Pountain. He enjoyed a 20-year career at Tarmac, rising to Director of Corporate Affairs. Ken eventually left the construction giant to found the Jackson-Brown PR agency, which he ran with his wife Hilary for many years from his home at Sandon, near Stafford.

Over the course of more than 20 years, he worked for a number of well-known clients, including building firms Chase Midland, Mowlem, Maitland Selwyn, retailer Beatties and many others.

Away from newspapers and PR, Ken worked in a voluntary capacity for many years for a number of West Midland public organisations, including the Government-led Wolverhampton City Challenge inner-city initiative, the First Community Health Trust in Stafford, the South Staffordshire and Shropshire Health Care Trust, Sandon and Burston Parish Council, Sandon Poetry Group and others. 

He was also a life member of the NUJ and a long-serving member of Birmingham Press Club. I 

Hilary Jackson said: "He had a real sense of community. He always wanted to help people, that was his raison d'être until he died - he would give anybody a helping hand."


Family and friends recall a kind and generous personality who could find common ground with all walks of life. West Midlands freelance journalist and former Birmingham Mail Business Editor Jon Griffin said: "I knew Ken for 40 years from when we first talked in the summer of 1978 in his role at Tarmac. You meet so many people over the years in this business and lose touch with 95 per cent of them. But Ken always stayed in touch.

"He was always a journalist at heart and loved nothing more than recalling his days at the Birmingham Post and Mail in the years of mass circulation newspapers.   He was a true gentleman, shrewd with an astute business brain, as well as a supportive and loyal friend with a wry sense of humour."

Former colleague and ex-Birmingham Post Business Editor Fred Bromwich said: "Ken and I first met up in the 1950s when we were both on the National Council for the Training of Journalists course and, as with many of his former colleagues, he had remained in contact ever since. Ken enjoyed a great career as an outstanding journalist in his field and he was the complete PR professional."

Ken leaves a widow Hilary as well as a daughter Debra and son Marcus from his first marriage. 

The funeral will be held at St Dominic's in Stone at 12 noon on Monday July 16 followed by burial at All Saints Church in Sandon and refreshments later at Sandy Leys Farm in Sandon.

Pic:  1 Ken Jackson – on lobbying duty outside No 10

Enquiries: Jon Griffin, 07963 405538

Read All About It!

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What used to be the head office of a Coventry newspaper is to be transformed into a set for dance and theatre – retelling the city’s stories of the past 60 years – before it finally closes for redevelopment.

The former Coventry Evening Telegraph Building, which has been everything from a pop-up art exhibition to a concert venue in recent months following the newspaper’s move to new offices elsewhere in the city, is being turned into a boutique hotel by developers CDP. Work is planned to start later this year after CDP donated the space for arts and cultural events.

But before the final page of this section of the building’s history is turned, it will stage a unique mini festival entitled “Read All About It!” which will blend the city’s past with its future as UK City of Culture in 2021.

In “City Final”, nine groups led by the Belgrade Theatre’s pioneering Community and Education department, will turn the famous building into a stage to tell a range of stories covered by the paper – including everything from the miners’ strike through to refugees settling in Coventry.

It will also delve into the technological advances that have changed the way news is reported and consumed.

The second part of the festival is “Retold”, produced by Mercurial Dance, and will be an interactive, cabaret-style show based on Coventry Telegraph readers’ memories.

The event is a Coventry City of Culture Trust Great Place Project with support from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery, Coventry University, University of Warwick, Coventry City Council and Coventry Business Improvement District.

Jacqui Ibbotson, Great Place Project Manager at the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “The Coventry Evening Telegraph Building is an iconic location in the city and has told Coventry’s stories over many decades. Read All About It! is a way of looking back at the recent history of the city through theatre and dance and taking inspiration from those stories produced by the newspaper.

“It promises to an interesting and inspiring few days and not only does it look back at the city’s history, it’s a chance to look forward to what this building will become by the time we reach 2021 and also to experience the work of a group of young artists, performers and producers.  Coventry’s youth and diversity was a key element in us landing UK City of Culture and this event will be the perfect showcase for that.

“Using the Coventry Evening Telegraph Building’s space to retell the stories in this way is an exciting concept as we look ahead to 2021 – as is the collaboration between cultural organisations in the city,” said Jacqui.

Read All About It! runs from Tuesday, July 10 to Saturday, July 14 and tickets are available via www.belgrade.co.uk or from the box office on 024 7655 3055.

Stephanie’s In Charge

 Pic:  Stephanie Preece

Pic:  Stephanie Preece

Newsquest has appointed a new editor for four of its newspapers in the West Midlands.

Stephanie Preece (pictured) will oversee the Stourbridge, Halesowen and Dudley News, Bromsgrove and Droitwich Advertiser, Redditch Advertiser, and Kidderminster Shuttle titles.

She moves from her role as head of content for Newsquest’s Worcester News, Malvern Gazette and Evesham Journal newspapers.

“I’m delighted to be joining the team at Stourbridge.” said Stephanie. I am already familiar with the great work that they do covering the north of Worcestershire and I can’t wait to join them in this new role.”

Newsquest editorial director Toby Granville said: “I had the pleasure of working with Stephanie at the Oxford Mail some years ago — and even then it was clear to me she had editor potential. She’s full of energy and embraces the challenging but exciting changes happening in our industry and I’m looking forward to seeing her play a big part in Stourbridge’s future.”

Stephanie will take up her new role on July 23 on her return from maternity leave



 Ian Stuart

Ian Stuart

HSBC completed the process to set up its ring-fenced bank, HSBC UK Bank plc (HSBC UK), with the legal transfer of businesses and customer accounts from HSBC Bank plc to HSBC UK on 1 July 2018.

HSBC UK – overall sponsor of Birmingham Press Club - has been created as a separate ring-fenced bank in response to the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013. It will serve around 14.5 million personal and business customers in the UK, including all HSBC retail customers in the UK, M&S Bank and first direct customers, most HSBC commercial banking customers in the UK, and UK Private Bank clients. Marks & Spencer Financial Services plc and HSBC Private Bank (UK) Limited are subsidiaries of HSBC UK.

HSBC received approval for the transfer from the High Court on 21 May 2018. HSBC UK has assets of over £200bn and received its full banking license from the Prudential Regulation Authority on 27 June 2018.

The creation of HSBC UK has been one of the largest projects ever undertaken by HSBC and required the reconfiguration of core banking platforms and payments infrastructure, including the successful separation of over 250 IT systems from the rest of the Group. In addition, it transferred 400,000 bank accounts to new HSBC UK sort codes and rebranded all HSBC branches in the UK to HSBC UK.

HSBC UK is wholly owned by HSBC Holdings plc and has its own Board. The Board is led by Chairman Dame Clara Furse and composed of three executive directors – Ian Stuart, CEO; David Watts, CFO; and James Calladine, CRO; and seven non-executive directors – Alan Keir; David Lister; Dame Denise Holt; Jim Coyle; Leslie Van de Walle; Mridul Hegde and Rosemary Leith; Mridul Hegde is Chair of the Risk Committee and is Chair of the Audit Committee.

HSBC UK will be opening its new 210,000 sq. ft. head office in Birmingham later this year and has already successfully moved about 1,000 head office roles from London to Birmingham. HSBC UK will employ around 22,000 people, supported by an additional 10,000 people working for HSBC’s UK ServCo (HSBC Global Services UK).

Ian Stuart (pictured) CEO of HSBC UK, said: “We are delighted to complete the ring-fencing of HSBC UK six months ahead of the legal deadline. The creation of our ring-fenced bank and our move to Birmingham is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get closer to our customers, colleagues and communities across the UK.”