Posted: February 15th, 2022
FORMER Daily Record photographer JOHN DEMPSIE died in Croydon Hospital on February 14 , after a long and debilitating illness.
His funeral will be held at 10.45am on Monday March 21 at Croydon Crematorium, Mitcham Rd, London CR9 3AT
MALCOLM Speed, former SDR managing editor, and AMP committee member: “It is with great regret that I have learned of John Dempsie’s death. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. He was the well-liked staff photographer in the Daily Record and Sunday Mail office at the Mirror in Holborn.
John was part of a quite formidable crew going back to Duncan Lamont, then Jim Dalrymple, Lesley Hall, Brian Cullinan and John. Sadly the Record office closed when the Mirror relocated to Canary Wharf and SDR&SM lost a good team of professionals.
On one occasion, John and Brian Cullinan were trying to pin down Tory Government minister Ian Lang, who refused to give a comment. The irrepressible John told the MP, who, during a long political career had been Secretary of State for Trade, and Secretary of State at the Scottish Office: ‘I won’t vote for you at the election Mr Lang.’ The MP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale replied frostily: ‘I don’t believe you are my constituent.’ Of course John wasn’t. Sincere condolences to John’s family.
FORMER SDR columnist, political editor and assistant editor, and also AMP life vice-president, Tom Brown: “I did quite a few jobs with John and he was always a pleasure to work with. A real gentleman.”
Colin Dunne: “John Dempsie was a great bloke. He had a quirky sense of humour and was a good friend. In his younger days he was a considerable athlete, a middle-distance runner who ran in the Commonweath Games in Canada and Jamaica. Before the Mirror-Record, he worked for one of the London evenings and freelanced for the Mail.
“Demps used to take the p*ss out of me for being Yorkshire, and I did the same to him for being Scottish. Once we were driving north and getting near Yorkshire. ‘When we get there’, I told him, ‘I‘ll sing you all the old Yorkshire songs.’ He was very scathing. ‘The only Yorkshire song,’ he said, ‘was that bloody nonsense about Ilkley Moor.’
I insisted there were lots of others and began to sing them… The Northern Lights of Old Huddersfield… When I’ve had a couple of drinks on a Saturday Batley belongs to me… Over the sea to Filey… ‘You’re a wee song burglar, Dunne,’ he said. Great guy…” (Picture: Picture Partnership)
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