Stewart Darby on how he started work at Granada

Ray Green (a photographer at Granada) tipped me brother off saying, “There’s a job going, tell your Stew to write in”, which I did. I wrote in, got an interview and there’s a guy called Vic Adeley who I was at the Mail with who got the job. Anyway about 3 month later I got a telegram (it was telegrams in those days!) saying, “Are you still interested in the job?” There was three in those days, printers. One guy kept coming in at 11 having had too much to drink. Anyway, I got his job. So in those days, then, we were called Photographic Technicians. This meant that you weren’t just a printer, you could be called upon to operate – you know, to take pictures – and I’d had this 12 months at the Stockport Express but to cut a long story short, I got the job (in March 1965) and the other guys were a bit older and it was me that was, you know I was 24, I wasn’t 24! I was 24 in the May, keen, photography. And so after Ray Green left, a guy came in called Frank Pocklington who wanted to be a cameraman. Finished up doing all the Whicker’s Worlds for Yorkshire TV. He was the sort of Design Photographer and I was being called upon daily to go down to photograph the group in Scene at 6:30 or whatever it might be, which obviously you’ve seen some of the pictures. But I was doing that regular. Or there’d be a job – “Stew, you go and do so-and-so and so-and-so” – so I was gaining experience all the time. Eventually because Frank Pocklington was photographing Sidney’s paintings on the wall and preferred that, I was the Press guy if you like. I’d had 9 years’ experience before I got to Granada, you know, in that way. Anyway one day, I’m doing more and more for the Press Office, I get a call from Norman Frisby – “We are going to see Barry Head.” Barry Head, you know Barry Head, Head of old Granada and stuff and we went up and they offered me the job permanently. That would be about the June of ’66 [1966], roughly. So they offered me the job, Norman and Barry, and I said, “Well, 3 month trial – what happens if I don’t make it?!” He said, “Well, you’ll go back in the darkroom!”

Photo by Stewart Darby

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