Brian was a junior photographer with the Express and Star in Wolverhampton when he attended the first ever NCTJ press photography course in 1964.
In 1969 he was awarded the first ever scholarship for a photographer by the Commonwealth Press Union in London and went on a three month tour of Africa. From 1970 to 1974 he worked as chief photographer at the Shropshire Star before joining the Daily Mail, where he worked for the next 34 years. He travelled extensively to more than 60 countries and covered stories including wars in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq; revolution in Ceausescu’s Romania; the world’s first test-tube baby; and numerous World Cups and Royal tours.
Now semi-retired, Brian still covers some assignments by the Daily Mail. He says of his career:
“I followed the first ever NCTJ course by passing (with distinction) the proficiency exam. I remember that towards the end of my three year training my examiner Derek Evans came to the Express and Star in Wolverhampton and stayed for the whole of a working day. He was very aware of my being nervous, as he watched my every move, both out on the street with the photographic subjects and in the darkroom. I'm happy to say all went well and Derek and I became friends as my career moved on. As he ran a photographic agency in Herefordshire I would meet up with him many times on photographic assignments over the following years.
“After being awarded a scholarship by The Commonwealth Press Union, I travelled for twelve weeks to both East and West Africa, working as a photographer on their national newspapers. Later I joined the Shropshire Star as their chief photographer and the newspaper gained many awards for their forward thinking in using same day colour pictures.
“In 1974 I was offered a staff position with the Daily Mail and this was to be my last job as a working photographer - I stayed there for 34 years. During these amazing years I had many personal highlights; meeting and shaking hands with the Queen, meeting Nelson Mandela at his home in South Africa, and more light-heartedly sitting, sharing brandy in David Niven's South of France home as he played guitar.
“I covered many foreign royal weddings and royal tours and visited over 60 countries. Having been a keen sportsman, I loved the fact I was been able to cover World Cup football and rugby for the whole of my career with the Daily Mail.
“Also very happy to say that high standards were bred into me from those very early days with the NCTJ. During my career I was never asked to appear before the Press Complaints Commission!”
Images Top: Brian leaving for Nigeria, East African Daily Standard in 1969
Bottom: Brian with fellow 1964 student Mike Cox at an NCTJ event in 2012