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Martin Gilfeather

Posted: January 17th, 2023

MARTIN GILFEATHER, former picture editor of the Daily Record, died on January 3 [2023], following a short illness. He was 84. Martin died peacefully, with his wife, Moira, and his family at his side.

Martin served, variously, as the Record’s deputy picture editor, deputy picture editor of the Daily Mirror, London, and group assistant editor of Maxwell’’s planning group at the Mirror. He was one of the pioneer photographers working on the colour revolution, aiming for colour-photographs-on-the-run instead of pre-printed inserts.

While he was working in Manchester he often flew to Belfast where the Mirror was experimenting with web offset and colour printing. That ended when the IRA bombed the plant and the Mirror decided to print its Irish editions in Manchester.

In 1968, Martin became deputy picture editor of the Daily Record at its tired and worn city centre HQ, though there were big plans for a state-of-the-art centre at Anderston Quay on Glasgow’s Clydeside. However, just months later in 1969, he was appointed deputy picture editor of the Daily Mirror in London before shortly afterwards being appointed by Murdoch’s new tabloid The Sun as its first picture editor.

In 1970, having parted from The Sun, Martin set up his own agency in East Anglia in partnership with Geoff Cooper, who had been a senior reporter on the Daily Sketch. Their Anglia Press Agency operated out of Colchester and was a success, but in 1973, Martin returned to Glasgow as picture editor of the Daily Record in its new centre, where he helped to pioneer newspaper colour technology in the UK and world-wide.

In 1987, he was again called to London, this time as group assistant editor of Maxwell’s planning group. Two years later Martin left the company to become a design consultant on the Daily Express in London to work with their colour team, a role he completed in 1990. Next, Martin returned to Glasgow and launched his own successful freelance agency, Photonews Scotland Ltd, which continued until his retirement in 2014.

He enjoyed life with his wife Moira and family, leaving Glasgow for a house in Fairlie, Ayrshire with views of the Firth of Clyde and a relaxed pace.

AMP committee member Malcolm Speed, who was news editor of the Record during Martin’s tenure said: “Martin Gilfeather was an amazing picture editor and could fill the pages of the Record with his ideas. He encouraged his team to enter photography competitions and he drove and encouraged their success – always with a slight grin.”

Thanks to Martin’s wife Moira and the family for their assistance with Martin’s obituary. Condolences to Moira, daughter Joanna, sons Matthew, Daniel, and all the family.

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