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Arthur Sidey

Posted: September 7th, 2017

Daily Mirror photographer ARTHUR SIDEY died on August 23 (2017). His funeral is at Easthampstead Park Cemetery and Crematorium, South Road, Bracknell, Wokingham RG40 3DW, on Monday September 11 at 12.45pm. Afterwards at Easthampstead Park Conference Centre, Peacock Lane, Bracknell, Wokingham RG40 3DF.

(Updated September 25, 2017)

From sporting heroes to Hollywood stars – award-winning ace Mirror photographer Arthur Sidey recorded all the icons of his era. We take a look back at his incredible Mirror career. (Image: Daily Mirror)

By Julie McCaffrey

ARTHUR SIDEY worked for the Daily Mirror for 46 years. He took some of the most striking Mirror pictures of the past five decades. He specialised in stars at the height of their fame, death-defying sporting moments and, particularly, amazing animals at close quarters.

Mary, his wife for 66 years, said: “It’s lovely to think readers are still looking at Arthur’s pictures – he risked his life for his most famous one.” That was during Formula One motor racing at Snetterton, Norfolk, in 1964. Arthur was crouching in a hollow when a car driven by Graham Hill left the track and shot over the top of him – and crashed. As Arthur ducked, his photographer’s instincts kicked in and he raised his hands above his head and clicked his shutter. He didn’t know whether he had a frame until he returned to the darkroom.

Arthur said at the time: “As he came at me I took a couple of shots instinctively as he went over my head. I was amazed to see him get out and calmly walk away.” He sent a copy of the photo to Hill and got a note back saying: “We were both really lucky.”

Arthur joined the Mirror in 1945 as an editorial messenger before leaving for National Service. He signed up to the camera section of the RAF, and as soon as he completed his stint he rejoined the Mirror as a photographer. Animal pictures became his speciality, and he produced five animal calendars. He also published a book – Animal Crackers – which captured his years of tip-top Daily Mirror photographic journalism.

Daily Mirror Royal photographer Kent Gavin, who worked with Arthur for 30 years, said: “There was something special about him. He was a first-class photographer, a great character and, above all, a gentleman.”

Former Mirror editor Mike Molloy echoed Kent’s views. He said: “Arthur had what great Fleet Street photographers needed – a fast eye that can see a picture in an instant.
“Press photography differs from all other kinds. Press photographers had to see the frame in a second. In Arthur’s time, before digital cameras, every frame had to count – not like today when you can bang out 10 shots in a blink of an eye. He was a lovely man.”

Arthur is also survived by sons Chris, 59, and Mark, 54, three grandchildren, and his amazing collection of photographs.

Go to to view some of Arthur’s great pictures, including:
Iconic 1973 picture of James Hunt; A colourful young Rod Stewart; Muhammad Ali arrives for Cooper fight in 1963; Chessington Zoo giraffe in 1983; Another great animal picture from 1980; Cleaning ladies protest against 1960 wage cut in London; A young Joan Collins in 1958; Noddy the chimp out for a skate in 1977; Knives being thrown at Arthur on circus wheel; Michael Caine with rescued swan; Heart-rending photograph of pensioners up to their necks in water as tropical storm Harvey hits care home; Bruce Forsyth with KwaZulu topless dancers; Famous Graham Hill racing car shot; Bernard Cribbins and Daleks in 1966; The Queen invests Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969; When the Berlin wall came down in 1989; First Doctor Who William Hartnell in 1966; American actor Robert Vaughn drinks a cup of tea at the BBC; The Beatles rehearse flying ballet routine in 1964.

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