Posted: May 11th, 2011
Harold Laverty: Small in Stature but Big on Action!
Gerald Mowbray’s tribute to Harold Laverty.
Harold Laverty, ex Colour Production Manager at Holborn Circus during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, died unexpectedly of a heart attack at his home near Northampton on 4th September 2006 at the age of 74 years.
I had known Harold for some 24 years and worked closely with him for nearly half that time. I first met Harold when he came to join Clarke & Sherwell, the newly established all-electronic colour studio, at Northampton in 1983. Previously, he had been one of the first operators of the Crosfield electronic page make-up systems at Excel Photolit, Slough and then joined the C&S team that was introducing the first Crosfield colour systems into production.
When Mirror Group decided to introduce full colour into its London-based National Titles in 1988 he joined the new team at Holborn Circus, initially to supervise the final forme assembly of advertising and editorial colour pages prior to their transmission to the new remote printing centres. During this early colour production period his professionalism came to the fore with his willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that the final page formes got to the remote press sites, via the facsimile department, on schedule. He was affectionately referred to as the man “small in stature but big on action” as he ran down to the fax room with the last colour formes. Harold subsequently became Colour Production Manager.
When MGN moved to Canary Wharf, Harold set up with a partner a small colour studio in Dockland to service local printers and also provided services to The European newspaper when it moved from Holborn Circus to the nearby ITN Building in Grey’s Inn Road.
Harold Laverty had a very varied career in the colour reproduction industry since his apprenticeship as a photoengraver in Manchester and had worked in Canada and Bermuda in the past. However, his family said that Harold had got a tremendous buzz from the excitement of introducing the new colour systems at MGN and the drama of battling to meet the newspapers’ seemingly voracious daily demands. Like many at the time, he was “sacked” twice by Maxwell – for late pages – but was steadfast in defended himself and his team. Despite this high-pressure environment, Harold still got huge satisfaction from his part in getting the newspaper out each day.
He was a true professional and a real gentleman and will be much missed by his family, and friends and colleagues in the industry.
Former Group Technical Director (Pre-Press)