Posted: February 5th, 0208
Worked his way up from office boy to Old Codger on the Mirror’s popular live letters page
Tuesday February 5, 2008
My friend and colleague Peter Anderson Reed, who has died aged 85, spent most of his working life as a journalist with the Daily Mirror, and most of his career there as one of the Old Codgers on the Mirror’s live letters page. He lived with his wife Sheila in St Katharine Docks, London, where they had a wide circle of friends.
Born in Battersea, south London, he was 17 when he got his first Mirror post in 1940, on the recommendation of the columnist Bill Connor, Cassandra, who was a neighbour. Peter started as office boy on the column he went on to edit from 1962 – taking a six-year break when he was called up to join the Royal Corps of Signals in the second world war. Family photos show him requisitioning vehicles for the Normandy landings.
Live letters was a popular Mirror column with readers who sent in their questions in a similar manner to the Guardian’s Notes and Queries. The Old Codgers’ style was a homely banter: they presented themselves as settling fierce arguments between readers, and the column even received a mention in a Monty Python sketch. At the time the Mirror decided to end the column in the mid-1980s, the readership was at half a million.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008 online division
Report and picture from FRANK THORNE
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