After a lifetime in Midlands journalism, the vice-chairman of the world’s oldest press club Fred Bromwich still has hopes and dreams for the region’s media – as well as his beloved Coventry City FC
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
I’ve spent my lifetime in Midlands journalism and public relations, starting on the old Leamington Morning News before moving to the Coventry Evening Telegraph and Birmingham Post & Mail. I later moved into PR as an assistant director with financial consultancy Citigate Dewe Rogerson (now part of Huntsworth plc), during which time I served as chairman of the Midlands region of what is now the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. I came back into journalism as editor of a business and finance magazine which, ironically, became a victim of the recession.
IT’S WHAT I DO
As vice-chairman of Birmingham Press Club I work alongside a dedicated board of directors and events committee members – a great bunch of working journalists and media-minded business contacts who are committed to safeguarding the future of what is the world’s oldest Press Club, which was established in 1865. Monthly networking evenings and various events ensure we maintain a healthy membership. I’m currently involved in planning this year’s Midlands Media Awards.
WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE
Coventry City back in the top flight of English football – I’ve still got the souvenirs after watching their 1987 FA Cup win – although I would settle for them not being relegated to the fourth tier. And for Worcester Warriors to finish other than in the bottom two of the Aviva Premiership. Probably stand more chance of winning the Lottery before that happens!
Surviving 60 years in the media and celebrating a ruby wedding anniversary are pretty successful milestones! I’m also proud that a business awards scheme which PR guru Bob Keys and myself introduced to the Post while I was business editor stood the test of time for a magnificent 24 years. No other similar scheme can boast to have secured as guest speakers a Prime Minister, four Cabinet ministers, five members of the Royal Family and a Speaker of the European Parliament. Meeting George and Vera Bryan, co-founders of Drayton Manor Theme Park, and writing a book about how they created the park turning it into a Top Five inland leisure destination, also gave me great pleasure. Now I’m writing a book with their son Colin who has taken over the mantle from his late parents.
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED
Don’t take anything for granted. Double check everything. And always tell the truth – if you can’t do that be either tactful or diplomatic!
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM
The on-going regeneration of the city centre, the ‘village’ feel of its business quarter, the friendliness of the Brummie – and the fact that over the years I have been able to make so many good contacts.
Love photography, ever since being given a Brownie 126 camera. Digital though means no more developing and printing! Genealogy can be fun too – only this month I discovered a ‘new’ cousin. It’s good to relax at New Road watching Worcestershire play cricket. Enjoying a pint of Old Speckled Hen takes the stress out of worrying about the results.