Ted Dickinson

Daily     Drone

From Press Gazette September, 2005

Ted Dickinson, one of the stalwarts of the Daily and Sunday Express great days, died at East Barnet Hospital on Sunday 18 September (2005). He had been in failing health for some time, following an operation for the replacement of heart valves. He was 74.

At the Express Group, he retired as deputy editor to John Junor in 1988 to nurse his wife, who died from cancer.

Ted began his career in the traditional manner on local newspapers, moving as a sub-editor to the Grimsby Evening Telegraph and on to the Daily Mail office in Edinburgh.

His next move was to the Daily Express in Manchester in 1959 and a swift transfer to the London office as a sub-editor in the early 1960s. He was widely regarded by his peers as one of a handful of Fleet Street super-subs, and he was constantly turning down offers to work elsewhere.

He was appointed editor in Manchester before returning to London, where he became deputy editor to Arthur Firth. At a point when editors were coming and going with ever-increasing frequency, it was people like Ted who kept the soul and professional standards of the paper alive.

Editors he worked with included Roger Wood, Bob Edwards, Derek Marks, Ian McColl, Alistair Burnett, Derek Jameson, Chris Ward and, finally, the indestructible Junor.

At home he was a devoted family man, married to Sheena MacAuslane, daughter of Max, editor of the Edinburgh Evening News. A big man and a tough operator in every sense of the word in the office, Ted was a gentle giant at home with Sheena and daughters Susan and Helen.

He was a great supporter of the old Press Club in Shoe Lane, and a shrewd hand at poker. Outside work, his interests were cricket, racing, golf and football - Middlesex of the Compton- Edrich era, golf against rivals from the Mirror and Mail, and Queen's Park Rangers. And what a rare celebration we had after plunging a week's subediting wages ante post on the winner of the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot.

As a wartime London evacuee, Ted was sent to a farm in Northamptonshire, where the farmer neglected to send him to school for a while and put this strapping lad to work in the fields. This lack of formal schooling was never apparent, for his command of the language was superb and he was widely read and determined to become a newspaperman.

Ted was a magnificent journalist and the best bad-weather friend you could have. His advice, kindness, sense of humour and support were legion.

Wherever he worked - Edinburgh, Manchester and London - they remembered and liked "big Ted", the professionals' professional.

By John Jenkins