Posted: March 1st, 2021
WITH apologies for the lateness of this post, we regret to record the death, on October 17 , of MEL MORGAN, who worked in the Daily Mirror’s Holborn finance department for several decades. Mel was born on March 12, 1945 in Camberwell, London, and after spending his early years as a publican’s son he headed to where where he always wanted to work – in the newspapers. On leaving school at the age of 14, he became a post-boy at the Daily Mirror – and during a long and successful career worked his way up to serve in various financial roles, including cash make–up manager, and finally, expenses and contributions manager.
MEL’S friend and colleague JOHN HEMPLE writes: “Mel Morgan was probably one of the best known faces at the Mirror. His death last October took away not only a colleague but a close friend of myself and my family. Mel worked with me for around 30 years, and was one of the most likeable, dependable and honest guys you could ever hope to meet. He leaves behind his wife Carol and three boys, Richard, Nick and Jon.
“Mel was a money man. Not in the manner of accountancy but in the manner of cash. He handled upwards of £375,000 each week in the make-up of wages and the payment of expenses. MGN cashiers at that time held more money on site than was held in the Fleet Street Branch of Coutts.
“I have many good memories of Mel, but there is one which we shared and over which we laughed together many times, and I know he would have liked me to repeat it here.
“The secretary or treasurer, I am not sure which, absconded with the Christmas Club monies of many Southend Football Clubs supporters. The Southend Club Chairman and Bobby Moore asked Maxwell for help because the Club had insufficient funds to make good the loss.
“Maxwell agreed a loan. We didn’t know at the time but if it hadn’t been repaid by a certain date the ownership of the Club would transfer to Maxwell. My instruction from Maxwell was to go to the football club and arrange to pay the supporters THAT EVENING.
“I spoke to Mel. We needed £80,000 in small denominations which we did not have. Our bank arranged a special delivery to their Fleet Street Branch. All done by word of mouth. Mel and I collected the money in plastic bags and, walking, carried it back to Holborn.
“Because of its value, MGN security insisted the money was split, and two transport drivers were allocated to take us to Southend, Mel in one car with half the money, and me in the other.
“On the way we were surprised to hear on the car radio that the money was on its way to Southend Football Club. So, apparently, were the Police, who set out to meet us to provide an escort.
“Unfortunately the lead driver did not know his way to Southend and we ended up going towards the M1 and got lost. No GPS those days, and the drivers didn’t carry any maps.
“Eventually, after a very long trip, we entered the football ground through the back entrance to be met by a very irate policeman. He berated us and told us that half the Essex force was out looking for us.
“All ended well. Thanks Mel.”