FORMER Daily Express secretary Esther Harrod has been delving in her drawers and produced some old pictures of life on the paper.
Esther started work on the Express in 1973 as secretary to John Ellison on the Foreign Desk, moving swiftly to the Picture Desk when Ron Morgan was Picture Editor. He left quite quickly and was succeeded by Struan Coupar.
Esther told the Drone: "I can vividly recall Struan and I being knee-high in photos of Princess Anne’s first wedding, we were both picture virgins together really. After that it was into Features and then I moved around quite a bit, left a couple of times including a year’s stint on The Sun when Roy Greenslade headhunted me to be their Features Secretary. I also worked as News Desk Secretary on the Express when John Jinks was News Editor, working particularly with Kingsley Squire.
"My last couple of years on the Express were spent working in the general features room for various writers. My association with the Express ran for 13 years and I still miss it to this very day."
Esther is now retired, living in a riverside village in Cambridgeshire with her partner. Her husband Barry died of cancer aged 52 in 2001.
She said: “I’m still raising hell as a campaigner on behalf of my village against various controversial planning applications and sending out news letters to residents. I took up salsa dancing, which was a great joy and have now moved on to messing about on the Great Ouse, in our 24ft-long Miami-built sea cruiser."
Esther’s pictures are below, with a few explanatory notes from her.
Esther, sitting on Bill Lovelace’s lap, with his fellow photographers Tom Smith and John Downing. The picture was taken at Christmas 1981 in the Boardroom (Editor Christopher Ward). Downing was known by certain colleagues as MAGAT (Mine’s A Gin And Tonic). After one particularly long and lively evening in the City Golf Club, Downing was despatched in the direction of home via the railway station in a taxi with a note around his neck. One side read MAGAT, the other his home address