View Full Version : Wick journalists to feature in book

02-Feb-11, 10:45
Veterans'book to feature Wick journalists

TWO north journalists are to feature in a book being produced by the Scottish Working People’s History Trust.
They are Wickers Jimmy Henderson and John Donaldson who was better known by his nickname “Hot News”.
The book is the work of Trust researcher, Ian MacDougall, and will feature some 22 veteran Scottish journalists, and is nearing completion. He spoke to the late Mr Henderson some time ago and gleaned several recollections from him. Mr Henderson said that Mr Donaldson, who operated a freelance agency at Wick for many years, had had “a great influence” on him as a young reporter with the John O’Groat Journal and added that Hot News was “very highly regarded” among newspapermen throughout the country.
Mr Henderson went on to make his mark with the Scottish Daily Express and returned north to edit the Golspie-based Northern Times. It was Walter Gunn, another Caithness journalist and former Express reporter, retired in Edinburgh, who pointed Mr MacDougall in my direction, to obtain some details of my father’s life.
My father part-trained Wattie Gunn as we knew him, before he too headed south to the Express branch office in Inverness. Dundee was for many years famed as the city of jam, jute and journalism but, come to think of it, Caithness has spawned a few scribes in its time, too. I seem to recall Jimmy Henderson (or Hendy as my dad called him) saying that part of the reason was that Caithness folk were curious and appeared to be interested in everything going on in their community.
My brother James and I received our early training in the Donaldson news agency. James went on to join the Express and I ran the agency on the death of my dad, in 1967, before heading south. My elder son, James, joined the Aberdeen Evening Express, rising to chief sub-editor before he left to set up his own PR company. Son David is a radio and television journalist in Newcastle. There was also a Mr Rosie, who served on the then Glasgow Herald, as its industrial correspondent. Wattie Gunn from Thurso, was an ex-Caithness Courier reporter to also went on to the Express and another Thuronian, Brian Swanson, ex-Groat went to the Daily Mail and is currently working with the Express.
I have to say, that the Caithness journalistic tradition may not end there, for I caught my three-old-grandson, Stevie Begg running around our house, with a notebook and pencil, one day. Grandad’s days, it would seem, are numbered...