Posted: April 3rd, 2015
Former Reveille and Sunday Mirror sub editor and writer ALBERTJACOBS died on November 12 last year (2014), aged 82. He’s pictured above, far-left, in an evocative scene at Reveille during the power cuts of the 1970s. Here is Phil Posting’s obituary.
WHEN struggling weekly paper Reveille was turned into a much more newsy publication in the 1970s, chief sub Albert Jacobs switched smoothly to writing.
Albert joined Reveille in 1969 after spells on the Jewish Chronicle and Press Association. He impressed with attention to detail and flair for a bright headline. It was hard to believe he grew up in Thirties London speaking Yiddish and couldn’t speak English until he went to school.
We became firm friends, though I don’t think Albert – known to his family as Alec – ever forgave me for dragooning him into playing centre-forward against TitBits in 1971.
As a writer, he would tackle anything. Many’s the time the features editor (me) felt guilty at sending him on a wild goose-chase dreamed up by mercurial deputy editor Peter Grimsditch. I needn’t have worried. Albert usually returned with the elusive bird.
Reveille folded in 1979 and Albert and I joined the Reveille “boat people”. We landed at the Sunday Mirror, Albert as a writer, myself as a sub.
Sunday Mirror man Ray Setterfield said: “The thing I remember most about Albert is his calmness and serenity. When deputy editor Vic Birkin would come barnstorming out of his office yelling at all and sundry over something on a page proof he didn’t like, Albert would remain undisturbed, quietly smiling, as the storm raged around him.”
In 1984 Albert took the Maxwell shilling and retired. Behind him was a fine career. His greatest achievements, though, were his four children and four grandchildren. Under the tutelage of former Sunday Mirror snapper Carl Bruin, who lives near the Jacobs’ home in Greenford, Albert spent much of his time capturing the youngsters’ exploits.
As his health deteriorated, the last months were difficult for Albert and his beloved wife Jackie. Yet he was lucky to live past the age of five, when he got locked in a second-floor room. As his mother ran to the locksmith across the road, she turned to see Albert at the window.
“Don’t jump!” she shouted. But the only word he heard was “jump!”
His mother ran back and caught him – and the story made the front page of the Daily Mirror in March 1938.
By BILL ROWNTREE, former Mirror Group photographer
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