Press Photographer Bill Smith remembers: 41 years at Eastern Daily Press – based in Norwich and Ipswich

‘This was the Eastern Daily Press newsroom in Norwich in the 1990s. Well-staffed and awash with new-fangled computers.’ ©Bill Smith

Dick Smith, chief photographer of the North Herts Gazette series, based in Hitchin. 1974 – Dick was, my first chief photographer, at Hitchin in 1974. He was very patient in taking on a college-educated photographer like me and showing him what it was like working in the real world. Photo: ©Bill Smith (no relation!)


Bill Smith: ‘Here’s a photo of me working at Norwich Cathedral this summer, suitably masked and hard-hatted.’

“In the unlikely event of you wanting to show more of me, here’s one my wife took a couple of years ago, saying “This will do for the obit”

This just in to the Press Photo History project from Bill Smith completing 41 years continuous employment as a press photographer on the UK newspaper Eastern Daily Press.

Hello Will,
After training at the Guildford School of Photography I worked as a photographer in the regional press from 1973.
That year I joined the North Herts Gazette series of newspapers, based in Hitchin, with offices in Letchworth and Stevenage.
In 1988 I moved to the Eastern Daily Press, based in Norwich and Ipswich, and with district offices throughout Norfolk and Suffolk. I worked there until the end of 2014, completing 41 years continuous employment as a press photographer.
I was Kodak Regional Press Photographer of the Year in 1992, and won various Eastern Region photography awards over the years.
For the last seven years I have continued to work part-time on a freelance basis.

The EDP was the prestigious flagship of Eastern Counties Newspapers (ECN) which became Archant soon after the millennium.
Sadly Archant was the subject of a pre-pack administration in 2020, and although it was reborn thanks to an injection of venture capital its assets are much diminished.
Please find attached lists of the photographers (below PDF link) I can remember working with over this long period, many of whom I admired and some of whom I am still in touch with.
I’ll see whether they can come up with any more I may have forgotten.
Best wishes,
* additional names for the list:  Bill Darnell BD – Martin Humby MH

And here’s Dennis Whitehead chief photographer at Eastern Daily Press. I’m now struck by the way they’re both on the phone in similar poses – it must be a chief photographer thing. Photo ©Bill Smith

Below: June Essex and Jim Parrish, two great colleagues from North Herts:

June Essex, photographer at the North Herts Gazette, 1970s ©Bill Smith


Jim Parrish, photographer. ©Bill Smith

If you would like to add any names or your own memory of working at the EDP or contact Bill email me at  [email protected]
Send a press photo work memory to the Press Photo History Project please call me or email me at [email protected]