John Davies, metropolis journalist – obituary


John Davies, who has died aged 90, was a monetary journalist for greater than 40 years, 24 of which he spent with The Each day Telegraph, more often than not as Metropolis information editor.

He labored underneath 4 Metropolis editors in a interval when monetary journalism was increasing quickly, reflecting the explosive progress of monetary companies and the general public’s better spending energy and urge for food for financial savings.

Seldom seen with no cigar and a clipboard itemizing the runners and riders for the following day’s version, Davies could have been invisible to readers, however as co-ordinator between the information and manufacturing aspect of the Metropolis part he was instrumental in guaranteeing they benefited from complete protection of the enterprise world. His steerage helped many Metropolis journalists as they moved on to senior positions.

John Charles Edward Davies was born in Brixton, south London, on December 28 1925 and noticed his formal schooling finish on the age of 13 in 1939, when London colleges had been closed on the outbreak of the Second World Battle. Aged 15 he discovered a job as an workplace junior within the Fleet Road workplace of the Glasgow Herald, the place the working day was steadily interrupted by air raids.

On one event he arrived to seek out Fleet Road cordoned off as a result of an unexploded bomb had ended up on the backside of the elevate within the Herald workplace. One other raid left a parachute with a land mine caught in phone strains throughout the road. 

Davies joined the fire-fighting get together close to his residence, outfitted with metal helmet and stirrup pump. Two high-explosive bombs on time fuses compelled his household to evacuate. He collected shrapnel and gave an incendiary bomb pleasure of place in his bed room after utilizing a screwdriver and a fork to take away the explosive materials.

Davies joined the East Surrey Regiment shortly earlier than the tip of the warfare, and was really helpful for officer choice however determined towards going for a fee when he found that the one openings obtainable had been within the Indian Military, and to cross muster he must be taught a neighborhood language. On the finish of the warfare he was transferred to Greece as  a part of a unit liable for safeguarding tanks and different wartime army tools which had been being hi-jacked by individuals within the Greek civil warfare.

Davies would recall how handsome younger Greek women would distract sentries whereas others wriggled underneath barbed wire to steal the tools. Captured Greeks would usually purchase off their guards to keep away from being overwhelmed by the police, offering Davies and his fellow guards with an additional supply of revenue.

Again in London the Glasgow Herald provided him a gap as a trainee monetary journalist. He spent 20 busy years with the paper, ending up as deputy Metropolis editor. Sometimes his consideration was distracted by a loud junior, whom he as soon as locked in a room to keep away from interruptions. The offender, Joe Haines, later turned Harold Wilson’s press adviser.

Davies had a quick spell on the Scotsman’s Metropolis of London workplace earlier than becoming a member of the Telegraph as a senior firm reporter in 1964.

Because the Telegraph responded to Lord Thomson’s launch of The Instances Enterprise Information part, he was given further duties, and the paper broke new floor with a Saturday Cash Go Spherical part for savers and buyers. His in depth expertise outfitted Davies for the demanding function of Metropolis information editor and his judgment had an important affect on the protection of tales. Cigar consumption rose to match the rise in each day pressures, with Metropolis reporters benefiting from the standard manufacturers obtainable at company lunches and handing them over to Davies.

Davies loved his contact with enterprise leaders, though some could possibly be intrusive. The  worst was Robert Maxwell, the Each day Mirror writer. He had a behavior of ringing Davies close to deadline, mischievously checking whether or not the Telegraph knew what tales its rivals had.

The expansion of the general public relations trade posed one other problem for Davies and his group as PR advisers, trying to guard their company purchasers, deflected journalistic inquiries. New know-how and the 24-hour enterprise information cycle added significantly to the pressures on a one-man information desk, however Davies, who retired in 1988 on the age of 62, hardly ever missed a deadline.

John Davies’s spouse Irene, whom he married in 1949, predeceased him. He’s survived by three sons.

John Davies, born December 28 1925, died April 19 2016


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