Wellers, top operator and a great mate



Peter Welbourn, former political editor and chief industrial correspondent of the Daily Star has died.

Lincoln-born “Wellers” as he was known to both colleagues and rivals, died on December 17 aged 79 at his home in Mobberley, Cheshire,

He was a member of the team of journalists who helped to launch the Star in 1978. He covered Margaret Thatcher’s first meeting with President Gorbachev and her fall from power as well as the miners’ strike.

Before the Star, Wellers was an Expressman. He joined the paper as a general reporter in 1964 and within two years was assistant news editor. He went on to become Northern industrial correspondent and for nine years covered union affairs, the TUC and party political conferences before moving to the Daily Star.

There he continued his industrial role until he was appointed Political Editor based in the House of Commons in 1988.

Eventually Wellers went back to Manchester where he was appointed deputy chief North of England executive.

He was an avid Lincoln City fan and as a freelance reported Premiership football matches for the Sunday Express and News of the World.

During his National Service he was Acting Sergeant with the Intelligence Corps working as a code-breaker stationed at HQ BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) in Rheindahlen, West Germany.

Tony Brooks, who took Wellers’ job as a junior reporter on the Lincolnshire Chronicle when Peter went into the Army and who was a colleague on the Express and Daily Star for almost 40 years, said: “Wellers was a one-off. He was a top all-round operator and you would never forget time spent in his company. He was a great mate.”

The Daily Mail’s Richard Littlejohn who met Peter when he was on the Evening Standard said: “Wellers was a great man – I loved him. He was very kind to me when I started as an industrial hack and I have never forgotten his best advice: ‘It’s all Mickey Mouse, darling!’”

Jon Craig, chief political correspondent for Sky News who Peter knew as “Hoss” said: “This is really sad news. I was matey with Welly when I was on Today and then the Daily Express and he was not only a good guy to know but also very witty and a really good journalist.”

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre