Wednesday 1 March 2017
Paul loved Fleet Street and the pub culture at the time. It had been his dream to work in what Private Eye called "The Street of Shame" and to rub shoulders with the greats of the day at the bar of the Punch Tavern, King and Keys, Cheshire Cheese or Bell. It was while he was a graduate trainee still working towards his first-posting spurs that he had the first scoop of his Reuters career. On the way back to work from some hostelry one evening, most likely late, he noticed police cars and motorbikes screaming their way up Fleet Street towards The Mall. He rang the Press Association news desk, then located, like Reuters, in 85 Fleet Street, as well as Reuters London Bureau. PA was first with the flash that Princess Anne and her husband, Captain Mark Phillips, had survived a kidnap attempt in the Mall. The full story is here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/bloody-attempt-kidnap-british-princess-180950202/
Paul's ambulance-chasing instinct meant PA was first with the news and Reuters second, beating all other opposition by a long mark.
Paul got a "herogram" from the editor of PA, David Chipp, as well as from our own chief news editor Ian Macdowall for his alertness and reactions. Needless to say, we toasted his scoop for several days thereafter. ■