Anne McGarry

Interviewed by Judith Jones, 9 July 2020.

How did you come to join Granada?

Well, I joined in ‘59 but I left grammar school at 16, did O-levels in ‘55, so that was when I was 16. Things were very different then, not many girls went to university, especially if you’re working class. I think you were expected to be married by the time you were 23 or 24, and then go on and have you have your family. It didn’t seem worthwhile for many people to spend another five or six years in education, when you thought you’d be married by the time you were 24. So it seemed as if you’d be better if you just got out there and earned a living. I was looking at it the other day and apparently during the 1950s, there’s only about 5% of the population went to university and if you were female and working class, the percentage was even less. 

I did well at school, and I excelled in history, English and literature. I was particularly interested in current affairs and politics. They suggested that I should become a teacher, but the thought of going from school to college, then back to school again, didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm so I suppose I did what thousands, if not millions, of girls did in the 1950s and trained as a secretary. I was working for a cotton manufacturing company in the centre of Manchester. The cotton industry was of course in decline, was going into decline then, and the company decided to close the Manchester HQ offices and move us all out to Littleborough, to their mills there. So I took their offer of a very small brass handshake and left. Then decided to do temp work, working for an office bureau. That’s how, I came to Granada, as a temp and into the job in the newsroom, which just suited me fine. I just felt it was just the right job for me really.

Right, right. So, tell me, at that time, what programmes did they do? Did they just do an evening programme then? And how long was it?

Yes, at the beginning, it was called Northern Newscast and it was a five-minute… sometimes it was little bit longer, sometimes they might give you six or seven minutes. You just had to take what they scheduled you on. So, my job description was that of secretary to the news editor, but the setup in the newsroom meant that I did all the work a PA (production assistant) did on programmes. The PA that was designated for the Northern Newscast programme only came along with the director, I mean, half an hour before the programme went on the air, and she was there to time the reading of the script and then the timing of the programme during transmission, but everything else that a PA would normally do on a programme, I did. It went out Monday to Friday and I’m sure it was just before, it wasn’t after, I think it was just before the ITN News at six o’clock. 

Take me through a typical day.

Yes, well it involved liaising with reporters who worked for local newspapers in the Granada area, because of course you’ve got to get the news from somewhere. When I first started there, I didn’t know anything about news gathering and I suppose like a lot of people, I thought you went out and found the news, but of course it’s not a bit like that. You’re there, and the news comes to you in various ways. One of the ways for the Northern Newscast was that we had people called ‘stringers’, who were local newspaper reporters. Of course, in the Granada area – which was huge, really – there were hundreds of local newspapers. They would ring in with their stories, and these stories would be typed out. We had two copy takers who came in in the afternoon, and the reporters dictated their stories to the copy takers, and of course they were then passed over to the news team. 

Of course any photographs… of course, we had to remember we were on television, so it’s got to be visual, any photographs or filmed news items would also be supplied by these freelancers, working for local newspapers. The most important job in the morning was the checking of the diary. So, that gave us details of important events that would be happening during the day. So an event that we might want to send a cameraman to, or at least alert a reporter, that we would tell him that we would expect him to write in a story on it. Of course, we didn’t use in-house camera people, they were all people on local newspapers and photographers. Some of them would have bought themselves… I think it was just an 8mm camera on which they would shoot film for us. So that was the first thing we did, we would check the diary, then the editor and the two other journalists working in the newsroom scanned the daily national newspapers, because they were delivered every day to the office. I opened the post, of course there were no emails then. 

It was very primitive looking, but if it contained details of something happening that day that people had notified us of in the post, then that was quickly passed to the editor, and any other details, any future events, would be put in the diary. And we received lots of press releases. We also received tip-offs, there was a certain person who listened to messages on the police radio frequency, sometimes led to our reporter or cameraman getting to a dramatic scene before or soon after the emergency services arrived. I think listening to these radio messages was illegal, but police seemed to turn a blind eye, or at most make some sort of caustic comment. 

Part of my work was to make sure that these freelance reporters and cameramen were paid for what they did. If I remember correctly, the cameramen were paid a standard rate for the work, I think about £5 or maybe £8, I’m not sure, it’s a long time back now. Every morning, the news editor would write on the previous evening’s script the names of the reporters who’d sent in each news item. I mean, we received… well, I don’t know, there’d be 100 or more stories coming through. Of course there would only be a small selection of those that were chosen. Their names were written on the script and what the editor thought they should be paid. It was usually about £1.50 or £2.50, that’s in new money of course. Some of the reporters in the bigger towns were paid a retainer, so I had to keep a record of all these payments in a big ledger book and send individual payment forms to the accounts department each month. As I say, there were a staggering number of reporters and all their details and addresses, telephone numbers, we had to keep in a huge address book, at least two copies. And then it was always being changed, it had to be kept up to date. 

Oh, and another thing. At the time, it was expected that news film should be accompanied by appropriate music. I don’t know whether you realised this, but if you ever see old newsreel on the television, there’s always music in the background. It’s very old-fashioned. But we were expected to choose the music to go with these little newsreel films that we’d ordered. So, that had to be chosen. I think we were helped with this by a librarian that Granada employed. Granada had a library, and it had a music section. And the Newscast programme, it also had its own distinctive musical introduction. I think it was called Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia Concerta, or something. I don’t know why I seem to remember that, but I think it was. And we had to… there were payments for all this music. It was dealt with, I think, by the librarian, and we just had to send in a little request form for our signature music. 

I suppose there was a certain sense of urgency during the day, of course. But the three journalists working on the programme, they seemed to take it in their stride. They didn’t get… the most I can say is that they didn’t get flustered. But we all realised that the timing was important. The programme went out, just say, at five to six, just before the main national news at six o’clock. So, everything had to be ready for the rehearsals, I’d say at about half past five. And if the news item wasn’t written, or a film had arrived too late to be edited, it couldn’t be used. 

That reminds me of the times when film went missing. If an event taking place away from Manchester, we would have to ask this camera man, working for a local paper, who had a cine camera to film the event. Well, this was before digital, electronic or satellite communication. And so this reel of film had to be got to us by train. The cameraman would give it to the guard on the train. And the reel of film would have to be collected from the railway station by a taxi driver. There were many times when we had a phone call from a taxi driver to say, he couldn’t find the guard and the train. And then eventually the guard would be found just be found just wandering around the station with the film in his pocket. so then there’s a mad scramble to get the film back to studio in time.

And then, of course, there were no smartphones to send photographs. So the same thing happened to the photographs, they have to be put on the train. Another aspect of the timing, which was less fraught, was the actual length of the script. They have to strictly adhere to the number of minutes allocated. And one of my jobs was to type the script at the end. And at the end of each story, I would type the number of lines. We’d worked out that normal speech is about 200 words a minute and that the average number of words in a line of type was 10. So, 20 lines meant a minute of speech. The programme was usually scheduled for about five minutes. So if we had 100 lines, we probably had enough. These lines included the script, which was read over the film, the edited film. 

The newsroom and office equipment were very basic. We had manual typewriters. No copier machine. I think it was the early to mid-60s, before Granada invested in a Xerox copying machine. We all thought it was the state of the art, queuing up to use it. In 1959, we were still using carbon paper for making copies. If you needed quite a number of copies, you have to use the Gestetner duplicator machine, which wasn’t particularly user friendly. 

The room, the newsroom itself wasn’t much bigger than an ordinary living room. And in the middle of the room was a large table. It was made up of four office desks put together. And the news editor and assistant news editor, and the sub-editor sat on three sides of the table and I sat on the fourth side next to the news editor. So I think that, that might cover a day’s work. It all went very quickly.

A couple things I was going to say, I was going to ask you about the photocopy. So, did you or the PA at that time have stopwatches for timing?

Oh, yes.

Yes, you’d use the two stopwatches. Within a programme did you have any graphics?

Oh, yes. Yes.

Yes, so you’d have a mixture of photos, film and graphics. So, there were quite a lot of visual elements to it.

Well, yes. 

I’ve got a note here to tell you about David Plowright. I have memories of him walking up and down the office saying, “We need a picture here,” or “We need a film for this,” and, “How about graphics?” And, “For goodness’ sake, we’re on television, not the radio.” So, we had to be absolutely aware that it needed illustrating.

Yes, because it’d be quite a change. Presumably all people who came from a journalistic background, it would be print journalism, wouldn’t it? 

Yes. They were all, yes. It’s a great many of the people working in television, just then. We’d only been on the air three years, and they were all recruited. Either from newspapers or pinched from the BBC.

Right, yes. And what did you do? Sorry this is going a bit off track, but what did you do for your lunch? Was the canteen around at that point?

Oh, yes. We’d pop in the canteen. The thing about working in television, is that it’s not a matter of seeing these famous people and saying, “Oh, that’s so and so,” and trembling. It worked the other way. You’d go home in the evening and see somebody on television and you said, “Oh that’s that bloke I saw in the canteen the other day,” you know? It worked in reverse actually.

Yes. So, who was the presenter of that programme then? Who was there when you joined?

Right. There was, wait a minute. I’ve got my notes here. We talked about the colleague. My colleagues, and what their roles were. Of course, David Plowright was the news editor. He joined the company two years before. I had no idea what he’d eventually become, of course. And he was a 30-year-old man who was very energetic and confident, I’m even tempted to say charismatic. He was a friendly, no-nonsense type of a guy, who insisted on first name terms. So that was different, because in the commercial world of 1959, you were used to referring to your superiors as Mr. so and so. Of course, it was very rarely Mrs or Miss, because there were very few female bosses then anyway. But I won’t get on the hobby-horse. If I remember right, this first name attitude was pretty general throughout Granada. David had been on as a reporter on the Yorkshire Post, before joining Granada. I’ve mentioned about him talking about it being very visual, but he was also insistent that the news scripts were written in a direct style, sort of conversational style. Not like something which was written to be read in a book or a newspaper. So it was their task to edit these news stories that came from the local newspaper reporters and rewrite them in the TV style. And then of course David left the news room the following year and went on to produce the People and Places programme. 

The assistant news editor was Terry Dodson, he came from the Daily Express. He took over from David Plowright as news editor in 1960. It was him who was on duty the night Kennedy was assassinated. He was the first person who heard from the Press Association in London and passed it onto Barry Heads who was producing Scene at 6.30. Mike Scott was presenting the programme, and he was the first in the country to break the news of the assassination. There’s been a lot of arguments in the past since then, which television channel was first, but it’s well established that it was Granada. If you do any sort of research on Google and what have you, you find out that, unfortunately for the BBC, the hierarchy were out at some dinner function or other. There wasn’t anybody around to give permission to break into things. It was definitely Granada that was first. 

Terry left Granada at the end of 1963 and he went on to produce Pebble Mill at One for the BBC. He was replaced as news editor by Bob Greaves. The third member of the team was Donald Kerr or Carr, he was the only member of the group who had been to university. I’m not sure whether he graduated, but he went for a time to Ruskin College, the trades union college at Oxford which would have probably pleased Mr Bernstein. I think he left in 1960-61 and I think he went to the BBC. He was replaced by Mike Hill.

Looking back, I felt I was very much a member of the team. I was involved with everything that went on during the day and it was quite an exhilarating experience, working with people who’d had a grammar school education, though like myself had not gone to university, I think it helped to boost my self-confidence. You were asking about the presenters?


The main presenters were Brian Trueman and Peter Wheeler, he was voiceover for University Challenge

Yes. I’ve got a picture of him in my mind. Yes.

They would often be sent out as reporters. They would read the news, but we often used them as reporters to go out. I think Brian Trueman, I’ve read his piece about going out with the freelance cameraman that we retained called Steve Stevens. His description is perfect of him. They were all young men, the journalists and the presenters, they were all young men of 30 I think, or maybe at just a few years younger. They all chatted together about their social lives and lives in general. I remember that one of them had reached the grand old age of 30 and there was much discussion about 30 being a milestone or a watershed moment in a person’s career. They felt that if they hadn’t made some headway in their career by then that they weren’t… I think they were a bit frightened that they wouldn’t be successful. 

I was a young girl of 20 and they probably considered that I was just a young kid. It was a bit like being a fly on the wall. Terry Dodson thought of himself as quite the young man about town, and we all secretly laughed when he met his future wife, I think it was Elaine or Eileen. She was Oldham carnival queen and she had three heavyweight brothers and so he’d certainly met his match there. They were married and they went on to have a long and happy marriage. They had five daughters. Brian Trueman, I think was already engaged and was married one or two years later. I remember Peter Wheeler chatting about the house he and his wife were planning to buy. We all seemed to be very shocked that he was willing to pay the high price of £4,000 for the house he wanted to buy in Cheshire. Seems ridiculous now, it’s probably worth £400,000 now. It was funny looking back it seemed a tremendous amount of money. 

I know, I know.

David Plowright was already married; I think he had two or three children then. But during the last month of 1959 and 1960 he was much concerned about the welfare of his sister Joan as she had become seriously attached, of course, to Laurence Olivier. And when details of their relationship and the end of Olivier’s marriage to Vivian Leigh hit the national news headlines, David was particularly concerned. Because of his newspaper experience, he realised that Joan would be a target for news-hungry journalists. He made a number of urgent phone calls to her from the newsroom suggesting a particular isolated cottage where she could hide away until the news had died down. That’s what she did – and not long after, she and Olivier were married. 

The relationship between the news journalists and the news readers, I mean their on-screen reporters, could sometimes be a little fraught. I think you have to remember that the editor and his team were responsible for all that went out on the programme. He and his staff understandably didn’t take kindly to suggestions that the newscaster could do some of the work of the journalists just as well or even better. Sometimes the newsroom was sent one or two actors or presenters on a temporary basis to actually see how they would perform. And sometimes the newsroom team tended to think that these people, well what can I say, they were a bit lightweight and not serious enough. I remember the two temporary newsreaders who were thought of in this way were Bob Holness and Gay Byrne. So, considering what became of them, especially Gay Byrne. It’s amusing to think just how wrong they were. I can talk about the programmes and stories.

Yes. Go on. Yes. I’m just listening avidly, Anne. This is very much about you talking so it’s great and for me it’s fascinating, so don’t worry. You just work through. I’ve got little questions as you’re going along that I might come back to, but absolutely, this is fabulous.

Well, memorable programmes and stories and things. Well, because of the very nature of news every day, every day was slightly different. There was a whole range of stories but you did, after a while, tend to categorise them. They would be the death and disaster ones, people hurt or killed in road accidents, fires, or at work or explosions, etc. 

Then there were the political stories, mainly local disputes but sometimes involving visits by members of the government. Visits to the area by celebrities, actors, film stars, opening nights of new plays, etc., visits by royalty. Sporting stories, mainly connected to football or cricket, but occasionally golf. If the Open took place, at say Lytham or Birkdale, Industrial disputes, party and trade union conferences, and developments in infrastructure, motorways or bridges would be of interest. But after a while, unless a really big story broke, it did become a little like Groundhog Day. So that when people say “Oh, what stories did you do?” it’s all a bit of a blur. 

During the first year at Granada in 1959, the 1959 general election took place and Granada transmitted its ground-breaking marathon programme. And if I remember right, this programme went out over several days and gave them every one of the prospective candidates in the Granada area time slots to state their case. I think it was the first time that David Plowright appeared on screen. He was one of several people who introduced the candidates. My only memory now is David frequently disappearing for 15 or 30 minutes at a time and coming back quite animated and happy that everything had gone well.

And before David left the newsroom to take up the production of People and Places, he suggested a programme about books. He was asked to produce the pilot programme, and the vox pops item was planned, which took place in St. Peter’s Square, near Manchester Central Library, and they asked the journalist friend working on the Manchester Evening News to do the interviewing. So this friend came into the newsroom before heading off to Central Library. And after the interviews he came back so I could transcribe the interviews.

He didn’t give the impression of a suave sophisticated interviewer. From memory, he wore a rather shabby dark grey raincoat, and wasn’t at all inspiring. The programme never got off the ground. It taught me a very important lesson of not judging people by their appearance, or first impressions. So this friend of David’s was Harold Evans, now Sir Harold Evans, the world-renowned journalist and writer. He was the editor of the Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981 and the instigator of the investigation into the Thalidomide scandal. So looking back, it was interesting, but at the time it was just every day. 

One of the biggest national stories we had to deal with was the Moors Murders, I remember. I think it must’ve been 1965. I was manning the newsroom one lunch hour and the others were having lunch in the canteen, and I got a phone call from our freelance cameraman who said he’d got a tip-off that the police were out searching on the Moors and did we want him to go out there and see what he could film. Of course, I told him to go ahead and then dashed over to the canteen. I can’t remember who it was but he quickly came back to be in the newsroom to be there when any news came through. It’s funny, but I can’t actually remember typing news script on that story. I think it was because it was such a big national thing, but most of it was covered by ITN and their national bulletins. And I do remember there were lots of whisperings about some dreadful tapes. I mean, so dreadful that they just didn’t discuss them.

When I first went to Granada in 1959, the only building that had been built was the two-storey building on Quay Street, where the newsroom was. And some of the offices were in Portakabins in the car park, others in a large warehouse over the road. So over the next couple of years or so this tall office block was built. And the beginning of 1963, Granada started its daily news magazine that was Scene at 6.30. It started working from this fifth floor of this new building. And the newsroom went up there with them. We had our own newsroom, but we were able to easily contribute any news items, that might be needed for Scene at 6.30. By this time, we had also started to transmit a late evening bulletin at about 11 o’clock with a small team; the editor, a copy-taker typist and sometimes a researcher. 

So, it was on one of these evenings, of course, November 22nd, that we got the big story of President Kennedy’s assassination. I believe the full details of it is on the Granadaland website as a piece by Joan Riley.


Well, annoyingly, I’d just arrived home when the story broke. I worked in the newsroom from half past nine to six o’clock so I missed the drama. I suppose, under the tragic circumstances, I hesitate to say excitement, but I heard all about their first hand reports on the Monday morning.

Now, in the autumn of 1964, Granada as well as the transmitting Scene At 6.30 began to really emphasise its commitment to the North of England introducing what it called its Granada in the North concept and this involved two or three minutes of newsy features which were meant to supplement or replace the continuity announcing, because of course it wasn’t all-day television. I looked up on Google some old TV Times and you find that there was an hour or an hour and a half of schools programmes in the morning and then same in the afternoon. And then programmes didn’t start till five o’clock. That’s apparently it was because the company was only allocated seven hours of transmission time.

So, sort of five o’clock until midnight… of course, they didn’t count educational programmes in that seven hours, so that was okay. So they went from five o’clock to midnight sort of thing, with the seven hours. So, we had these newsy items in case it would be the sort of continuity talk, and then a 10-minute slot of northern news items called Good Evening from Granada. And that went out at ten to five. So, the newsroom team were still quite small, but we were helped out by researchers that were on Scene At 6.30 programme as well. So, the newsroom team contributed to all of this, and so we moved into the big open plan office, seeing as Scene at 6.30 still went out at 6:30, and Northern News followed the ITN news late in the evening, at about 10.30pm or about 11.00pm.

Right. Yes.

So, this open plan office was a hive of activity with numerous researchers and scriptwriters all working on Scene at 6.30 or the Northern News, or these newsy feature items for the Good Evening from Granada slots. So, there was a small studio at the far end of the room with a window looking out into the room and they transmitted shots of us all working in this office room, and this was transmitted most afternoons at the start of Good Evening from Granada. I’m not quite sure what we thought of it. I know my mother-in-law looked at it every afternoon, but she was probably keeping an eye on her daughter-in-law.

So, she could see you!

See if I was behaving myself! So this move to the open plan office, and we were in daily contact with everybody. I mean, we had been anyway when we were in our small ordinary… in the newsroom as well. The researchers and the scriptwriters, they included Peter Eckersley and Arthur Hopcraft and Barry Cockcroft. He went over to Yorkshire Television, of course, to produce the wonderful Hannah Oxwell, of the Dales programme.

So seeing people like Michael Parkinson and Mike Scott every day, meant that we were immune from any sense of awe, I can only remember once being quite starstruck. And that was when Margaret Lockwood and… I mean, the names won’t mean anything to anybody, young people now. But Margaret Lockwood and Richard Todd were high up there, were appearing in a pre-London West End tour of the Opera House, the Opera House in Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband. They were invited in for an interview on the programme, but unfortunately, at the time Granada did not have a green room or hospitality room, where celebrities could relax. So we just had to sit them down in our open-plan office while they waited to be interviewed and it was quite an embarrassing situation for both them and us. I think shortly after that Granada made sure they had a hospitality room.

Right, yes. They had a special place.

During 1963, Granada set up its Granada Graduate Training Programme. There were about a dozen young men, I think. I know there were men, I can only remember one young woman. As part of their training to find out what particular talents they had, they were assigned to a variety of programmes including the Northern Newscast and Scene at 6.30. So we got to know a good number of them and quite a few went on to become famous and I don’t know, you could say legendary, I think. They were very well known.

What names can you remember?

Well, three that I do remember. It’s not because they did become so famous, I do remember them, they did stand out. And they came to work on Scene at 6.30; one was Mike Apted, of course. He came in September ‘63 and he was a researcher on Scene at 6.30 for about six months and then transferred to World in Action. And then of course, went on to the research the 7 Up programme and of course, carried on from then. I think it was last year, wasn’t it when they did there… oh god, I don’t know. I can’t remember how many years it was.

I know, I know. Was it ‘63 Up, I think? Yes, yes.

Something like that. And of course, then he went on to make feature films, Gorky Park and Gorillas in the Mist, and the Bond film, The World Is Not Enough. Mike Newell was… he came the same time as Michael Apted and he was on Scene at 6.30 for six months and then he gradually moved on to directing programmes and worked on Coronation Street, I think. He started making films in 1980 and directed the Four Weddings and a Funeral film and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. And Leslie Woodhead, of course, he started 12 months earlier in 1962, and worked as a researcher on People and Places and apparently organised the very first filming of The Beatles. And after that, he came to work on Scene at 6.30 and by 1964 was helping to produce the programme. Of course, he became one of Britain’s most distinguished documentary filmmakers. 

You were there right at the beginning of Bob Greaves’ career, presumably?

Yes. He came to Granada, he replaced Terry Dobson as news editor. I think he was about 30 years old, although he was married and he had two children he gave me the impression of being a little older and more mature for his age. He was a lovely and pleasant and down to earth man and was committed to his work as a journalist. He’d come to us from the Daily Mail. He was born and brought up in Sale, near Manchester, and had lived most of his life in the area. And he was another grammar schoolboy who’d not gone to university and started work on the local paper. He was a kind, friendly, chatty man and it was a pleasure to work with him. So I’d left Granada in ‘66 and I believe he began his career on screen a year later. I don’t know. 

Did you have much to do with management?

No. I had very little connection with the management. I do remember Sidney Bernstein visiting the newsroom on a couple of occasions. For some time Granada thought they would lose the Yorkshire part of their franchise, which, of course, they did. I think that was in ‘67. And the management were keen to show through our programmes that we cared for Yorkshire and did not base all our work in the north west. And so, to this end the news programme was important, and for some time Sidney asked us to keep a running total of all the Yorkshire news stories that we used. But that was really my only connection with management. You asked me what changes were made?


Well, when I joined in ‘59, of course, the company had only been in existence three years. So it did grow and develop in size and reputation while I was there. Programmes like World in Action established its reputation for investigative journalism and in drama Coronation Street began its record-breaking journey. Granada also began producing its newsy magazine type programmes like Scene at 6.30. Regarding more practical aspects and the technical side improved. I think in the early days there were no videotape recordings, everything went out live. So, that was an immense change. And for many people, the working environment changed from an office in a Portakabin in the carpark or in an old warehouse to working in a modern, state-of-the-art, seven-storey office block. That was a nice big change for many people. 

What do you think was distinctive about Granada?

There were two aspects to it. Firstly, there’s Granada as a working environment, and secondly, there’s Granada’s reputation, I suppose, as a television company. Firstly, compared with other companies I’ve worked for, before and since, during my time at Granada, I can own only describe the environment as being friendly and comradely. There was of course, a certain hierarchy, but it seemed to me that this was flattened out a bit, a feeling that we were all in it together, something that’s often lacking in other places. One of the main distinctive things about Granada, I think itself was that it’s raison d’être was that it was in the north, for the north and working on its northern news programme, and I was very much aware of this. 

And just as important as this was its development of serious ground-breaking investigative programmes like World in Action. I think Granada, part of its main purpose was to speak truth unto power, I can’t express this in any other way. And perhaps that’s what distinguished it from other networks.

I mean, it’s interesting you saying that, because one of my questions was going to be how did you think it contrasted with the BBC? Because the BBC presumably had somewhere where they had a Manchester base.

Yes. There were occasions when I think… was it Terry Dobson?


Early on had to go over to the BBC for something. I don’t know what, some conference. And then they came back and the only thing I can remember them saying was, “Oh, they had two people in the newsroom.” The news editor had one woman who was just his secretary and then they had another person who did the day-to-day work. And so they were a bit put out because they didn’t have their own individual secretaries. They just had me!

Yes. And I don’t know if it was your role, but did you get a lot of response from the local population? Did you feel that you got a lot of kind of feedback from people writing in about it?

Well, if they were writing to the news staff, they would be writing to us about a piece of news that they thought we might be interested in, it wouldn’t be about enthusing about what they thought about it.

And so, you left in 1966?

I left in 1966, yes. I had a personal life while I was working at Granada. I’d met my husband, and we married, and set up home together. And I was pregnant with my first daughter. We went on to have another two daughters. And of course in 1966, women were not expected to return to work after they had a child. It was very rarely done. There weren’t really any childcare facilities, and I’d been an only one, and I knew that if I’d had one child I would want to have more. And that was it. Now, I was at home for 10 years looking after my family, and then I did five years studying for A-levels and my degree.

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