Sat, 25 May, 2024

Derek Bland

Posted: August 10th, 2021

Mirror Library stalwart DEREK BLAND died on August 4 [2021], aged 89. He is remembered with great affection and a smile by his former colleagues.

Derek, right, started his career working for Reuters, then tried his luck in Canada with his pal Bob Spurgeon. There the pair found themselves broke and hungry, and rumour has it they were reduced to chewing the soles of their shoes. Derek’s luck changed when he landed a job on the Toronto Globe.

On his return to the UK, Derek joined the Mirror Library where he worked for about 35 years. It was there that he met his future bride Ruth, who worked on the Picture Section. The couple were wed in September, 1962. Derek was quite the heavy smoker, and Ruth would keep an eye on Derek’s cigarette butts because on more than one occasion smoke could be seen coming from a nearby wastepaper basket.

Derek was a keen sportsman and quite a useful tennis player, as well being the nippy winger for the Library Lions football team – he would have a fag at halftime.

Derek was made redundant in the Maxwell era, Ruth having left the company back in 1965. Then living in Hornchurch, Derek wrote a column for the magazine Tennis Today. Later the couple decided to up stakes and move to Amble in Northumberland. He also leaves son Andrew, granddaughters Poppy and Isabella and grandson Jude. His funeral is at Blyth Crematorium on August 17, at 2.30pm

Derek is remembered as one of the nice guys.

With thanks to Tom Ashmore

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