Where are they now?

26th January 2001 at 00:00
New Labour's 'own paparazzo' spent his working life in the union movement, before concentrating on photos and footie.

His claim to fame?

His term as general secretary of the National Union of Teachers from 1975-89 included a decade of turmoil during the Thatcher years: pay disputes, feuding between NUT factions, spats with rival unions, boycotts, industrial action; and stormy annual conferences.

What does he do now?

Has progressed from an amateur to a professional photographer; frequents jazz clubs; governor of two local schools in Barnet; on the council of the National Youth Theatre; spends summers in his holiday home in Provence; chairman of Birmingham's University of the First Age for 11 to 14-year-olds.

Was he ever a teacher?

Er, no. Before joining the NUT he was president of the National Union of Students.

Was he ever a militant trade unionist?

Not really, although he was president of the TUC in 1987. More of a New Labour man. Cherie Booth opened one of his exhibitions and asked for some snaps to decorate her new Matrix chambers. Tony Blair called him "the Labour movement's own paparazzo" as he was the only photographer allowed in Millbank during the last election campaign.

But a man of the people nonetheless?

Certainly. In hi days as NUT general secretary he could be spotted popping out regularly to place a bet on the horses.

Any political ambitions?

Contested Wallasey, in Merseyside, unsuccessfully for Labour in 1951 general election.

Any artistic ambitions?

He's staged three photographic exhibitions: the post-election Days of Rallies and Roses; Politicians, Poppies and Other Flowers; and Monet's garden - and the lesser-known Provence.

What others said about him "He never was a man who believed in using one word where 30 or 40 would do." Anon.

What next?

"I'm up to my eyes in doing my next exhibition, Homage to the Hammers, on the life of West Ham football team - I've supported them for 65 years. It will be opened by Trevor Brooking at the TUC in March. It's a behind-the-scenes look at the club which was one of the first to open an after-school study centre."


1924: born September 8

Educated in Plaistow secondary, London; Oldershaw grammar, Wallasey; Liver-pool and Oxford universities

1952-4: president, NUS

1955-59: assistant secretary, NUT

1959-70: head of publicity and public relations, NUT

1970-74: deputy general secretary, NUT

1974-89: general secretary, NUT

1986-7: chairman, TUC

1987: president, TUC

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