Posted: October 23rd, 2017
TONY PATEY was a rookie reporter on the Hertfordshire Mercury, and had stints with East London News Agency and the Bucks Herald, where he came across a Labour MP called Robert Maxwell.
He joined the Romford Times in 1967 and transferred to its sister paper, the Stratford Express, as chief reporter at Barking and Dagenham. (Al Shillum was his news editor, and among his mates were Jill Palmer, and his wife-to-be Ann.)
He later became news editor of Retail Chemist weekly in IPC Fleet Street. A scoop about a Swiss drugs company coincided with a vacancy on the Daily/Sunday Mirror City desk under Bob Head. Bob interviewed him in a London Wall wine bar and took him on. At 25, Tony might have been the youngest reporter on the staff.
In 1987 Tony left the Mirror and trained as a teacher at Cambridge University. He taught and lectured, then a chance call to a Fleet Street mate led to a spell as economics correspondent on The European from 1993 until it closed in 1997.
He later worked at an international college where he was NASUWT FoC and Cambridge area rep, then some years later industrial reporter for the Morning Star. Since retiring in 2013 he has taken a range of online courses, mainly science and maths, and is officially retraining as a maths teacher.