Devney, A Fine Industrial Editor

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DEDICATED: Barrie Devney was an industrious grafter who regularly worked 12-hour days

TERRY PATTINSON, pictured below right, former Industrial Editor of the Daily Mirror, remembers his old colleague and friend BARRIE DEVNEY, his opposite number on the Daily Express, who died on 30th December 2014

I was so sad to hear about Barrie. I worked with him for three years before I joined the Mirror in 1975. 

pattinson

He was a dedicated reporter and a fine Industrial Editor and the veteran of three national miners' strikes.

Barrie was a close friend of former NUM President Joe (later Lord) Gormley and was a close confidant of most union leaders on the TUC General Council.

Thanks to one of Barrie's many union contacts I once had a front page lead exclusive in the Daily Express.

Barrie very rarely took his full annual leave and once returned home early because of the round of strikes in Britain at that time. I am talking about the national docks strike in 1972 when he left his deckchair in Spain to return to work.

He loved a pint of real ale and was a regular, with other Fleet Street industrial reporters, in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street.

He was a staunch  fan of Mansfield Town Football Club and had supported them all his life. He called the team God's Own.

I think I am right in saying that he started  in journalism with the local paper in Mansfield.

He worked all day from 10am until 10pm on most days, and even longer in the midst of industrial strife during rail strikes, miners' strikes and dock disputes.

Editor Ian McColl used to chide him when he came into work on his day off (usually Sundays) and once ordered him to take a holiday.

Barrie was respected by all his Fleet Street colleagues and all Whitehall press officers and trade union officials who met him.

He was a genuine hands-on reporter who believed in meeting the people he was writing about, and derided pompous journalists 'who did not get their hands dirty by meeting the working class’.

An inspiration to Fleet Street’s big names

© 2005-2017 Alastair McIntyre