Industry: water, steel & energy

Vey, Peter (4 of 10). An Oral History of the Electricity Supply in the UK

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  • Recording date

    2016-01-28, 2016-02-19, 2016-04-04, 2016-04-18, 2016-05-10, 2016-05-20

  • Interviewees

    Vey, Peter, 1928- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 4: Remarks on working for Sunday Express: naval experience used in writing stories about aircraft carrier innovations of angled deck and mirror landing systems; PV working with medical correspondent Dr Byrne on features on medical inventions, mentions interviewing discoverer of Polio vaccination Dr Salk; attraction of wide range of subjects to cover; less welcome tasks including winter visit to Dartmoor to cover story about escaped prisoner, door stepping people, PV worst task interviewing family of air crash victim; mentions Sunday papers still printed on Christmas day; [05:15] PV most enjoyable task developing series of stories on medical advanced with Dr Byrne; mentions feedback from readers in event of mistakes; anecdote about columnist and former editor John Gordon dispatching PV out to research a sensitive story, only to disregard PV's advice; PV working for editors Harold Keeble and sometimes ruthless John Junor; [09:40] few women journalists except in specialist areas; fashion editor Ann Wintour who later worked for Vogue; anecdote taking Ann Wintour for a meal at a rowdy pub; mentions sometimes having to stay in office over night; heavy drinking culture around journalism; lack of a typical day; journalists only as good as their last story; build up of week from doing expenses on Tuesday to busy end of week. [14:20] Remarks on working as crime reporter: PV arbitrarily assigned role, possibly because he looked smarter than typical crime reporter; Richardson gang and Kray brothers gangsters big stories at time; realising in hindsight the extent of police corruption; PV detective inspector contact driving PV around to search for stories, police not generally so helpful to journalists; not covering court cases much; covering Lord Montagu of Beaulieu's trial for homosexuality, mentions his politeness; [18:35] case of escaped prisoner who claimed to be innocent; outline of scandal and case against Montagu, Sunday Express anti-homosexuality stance; comparisons of Beaverbrook and Rupert Murdoch, Beaverbrook using his papers to push his own prejudices more; Beaverbrook regarded with awe around office and feared by editors, anecdote about Beaverbrook delayed criticism of editors whilst wintering in West Indies; reporting on Krays' case, anecdote about visiting Esmarelda's Barn nightclub for story colour; public having mixed feelings about Krays, part of establishment, few realising extent of their criminal activities; [23:20] crime a fascinating subject to report on, PV tending not to report on trials; PV reporting on last woman to be hanged in Britain [Ruth Ellis] for murder, outline of case, PV supporting death penalty for the crime; visiting crime scenes; PV trying to write about crime in straightforward fashion; some pressure to add colour to stories of crime, Sunday papers having to find ways of making stories from earlier in the week interesting; care needed with specifics of crime stories due to restrictions of law, stories about events overseas allowing more freedom.

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