Doyenne of Northern Irish female journalists, who currently does a podcast for Ulster University’s Business School, Wendy Austin (68) was a reporter (1974-1976) and the first woman to write a column for Ireland’s Saturday Night
“I started as a trainee on the East Antrim Times, which was part of Belfast Telegraph Newspapers Ltd and I was delighted to go to the ‘big paper’ in 1974.
Derek Black (75) was a reporter, features writer and leader writer (1968-1989), as well as motoring correspondent for 36 years
“I remember the smoke filled room — the ‘big room’ as we called it. Everybody smoked — cigars, pipes, cigarettes; there was a constant fug.
Looking back, it was almost a privilege to be able to ring people up and say you were from the Telegraph. It opened doors. You met top politicians and businessmen... all sorts.
With the magic words ‘Belfast Telegraph’ they’d talk to you. Every time there was a new Secretary of State, they would invite the leader writers up for dinner. The working hours were very civilised originally, from 8.30am to 4.30pm, whereas we’ve 24 hour news now, it’s very different. My first job was at the Belfast Telegraph.
It’s part of me, it always will be. If someone recognises my name, even now, I sort of think I used to be famous! The circulation was around 200,000 back then.
With motoring, I got invited everywhere that made cars — Russia, Japan, Korea, which was amazing for a little boy from Belfast. I remember the 100th anniversary; we did special supplements and were given premium bonds and a hamper.”
‘People would recognise the newspaper and have respect for it’
Sports journalist and broadcaster Steven Beacom (48) was a football correspondent and sports editor (1996-2016)
“As football correspondent and sports editor, the newspaper gave me the opportunity to cover the biggest sporting events.
I felt blessed because I’d always loved sport. I was fortunate enough to be able to cover World Cups, Champions League finals, major golf tournaments, the Olympics, Cheltenham, Wimbledon, rugby internationals, All Ireland final, the Giro d’Italia and Northern Ireland games around the world.
I also had the chance to interview a galaxy of sporting superstars. And it was privilege to do all of that.
The Belfast Telegraph is an iconic institution, and no matter where I went across the globe, people would recognise the newspaper’s name and have respect for it. Congratulations to the Belfast Telegraph for reaching 150 years.
It’s a phenomenal milestone and I wish the paper, editor and all the staff, many of whom are friends of mine, all the very best now and in the future.
It’s very important that newspapers like the Tele exist because they provide incredible stories, wonderful insight and also hold to account those who need to be held to account.
I still read the sport every day.”
‘The newsroom was the size of a ballroom when I worked there’
Author and media consultant Deric Henderson (69) was chief reporter (October 1973 – August 1980)
“In those days the newsroom was the size of a ballroom; 30 reporters, sub-editors and three people on the news desk.
For me, the biggest story was when I was tasked with writing a backgrounder on the Shankill Butchers when they were convicted.
Initially they pleaded not guilty, then they pleaded guilty and the judge adjourned the case for them to be sentenced later that day.
It meant that my backgrounder was going to be overtaken because the Tele was an evening newspaper and the morning papers would be a step ahead.
So, when everyone was standing outside, I slipped back into the courtroom and told the judge’s assistant that it would suit the media greatly if he could delay the sentencing until the following morning — of course, the only person it was going to suit was me — and he did.
When I was there, there was a circulation of 225,000. It was a serious newspaper.
You only had the BBC to contend with, and UTV and RTE.
It was the place to work and we were really proud of the great newspaper we worked for.”
‘I just fell in love with the place... it is the highlight of my career’
Belfast Telegraph at 150: Images and front pages through the decades Close
Belfast Telegraph: newsboys. Nine-year-old Emmanuel McGee does his own advertising as he sells the Tele on Royal Avenue
The first edition of the Belfast Evening Telegraph on September 1, 1870.
The Clash, Photograph 1977 Adrian boot taken in Belfast city centre on display at the Art of Selling songs exhibition at the Ulster Museum. Pic by Peter Morrison
Presseye Northern Ireland - Van Morrison Concert - Cyprus Avenue - 31st August 2015
Photograph by Declan Roughan - Presseye
Van Morrison on stage at the Cyprus Avenue concert.
Van Morrison celebrated his 70th birthday with two concerts on Cyprus Avenue, the area of Belfast where he spend much of his early years. Heavy rain did not dampen spirits of the large crowd.
New Zealand v Ireland - Rugby World Cup 2019: Quarter Final...CHOFU, JAPAN - OCTOBER 19: Rory Best of Ireland shows appreciation to the fans following defeat in the Rugby World Cup 2019 Quarter Final match between New Zealand and Ireland at the Tokyo Stadium on October 19, 2019 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)...S
Queen Elizabeth II's Historic Visit To Ireland - Day One...DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 17: Queen Elizabeth II lays a wreath at Dublin Memorial Garden on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Queen's visit is the first by a monarch since 1911. An unprecedented security operation is taking place with much of the centre of Dublin turning into a car free zone. Republican dissident groups have made it clear they are intent on disrupting proceedings. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)...I
Bill Clinton. US President's visit to N.I. 1995. President Clinton visits Violet Clarke's fruit shop on the Shankill Road, Belfast. 1/12/1995 THE PRESIDENT CLINTON MAKES HIS SELECTION.
The Bloody Sunday report.
Roy Lilley. Former Belfast Telegraph Editor
Checking the new colour Belfast Telegraph. May 1985
PACEMAKER BELFAST AUGUST 1988
GEORGE BEST TESTIMONIAL AT WINDSOR PARK, BELFAST.
Barry McGuigan:Boxing. 19/11/1985.
LONDON - JUNE 8 : Barry McGuigan of Northern Ireland celebrates after beating WBA Champion Eusebio Pedroza of Panama at Loftus Road Stadium,London on the 8th of June 1985. Barry McGuigan won by a points decision after 15 rounds to become the new WBA Champion of the world.
An injured man is led away following the Abercorn Bar Bomb in March 1972.
Ireland Saturday Night. Ibrox fire 1971
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 1993: Joey Dunlop takes a tea break at the Carrowdore 100 in County Down, Northern Ireland.
PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
Joey Dunlop funeral July 2000
Thousands of fans attended motorbike ace Joey Dunlop's funeral today at Garryduff, Ballymoney.
Belfast Telegraph. Page One. 20/6/2011 "A champion, a great...and he's ours"
Rory McIlroy. Golf. US Open. Trophy.
Belfast Telegraph: Page One/ IRELAND SATUIRDAY NIGHT/ISN/LOYALISTS' DAY OF DEFIANCE AT BELFAST CITY HALL. 22/11/1985
Belfast Telegraph. Page One. 7/4/2011. "Carried on a sea of unity"
Ronan Kerr. Funeral. Murdered. PSNI officer.
Belfast Telegraph. Page One. Final 1/1/2010.
Death of Cardinal Cathal Daly
Belfast Telegraph. Old Pictures. One of the making-up 'Stones'. it is here that the type is assembelled into page form.
FOOTBALL: GEORGE BEST.
Football legend George Best, during the Northern Ireland v England match in October 1966.
10th anniversary of The Good Friday Agreement...File photo dated 10/04/98 of former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair (Left) and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern signing The Northern Ireland Peace Agreement 10 years ago. PRESS ASSOCIATION photo. Issue date: Thursday April 10, 2008. The Good Friday Agreement set Northern Ireland on a path to reconciliation and peace 10 years ago, Senator Edward Kennedy said today. As politicians who negotiated the accord, including Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, gathered in Belfast to mark its 10th anniversary, the veteran Massachusetts senator paid tribute in Washington to the people of Northern Ireland and their leaders. "The people of Northern Ireland and the courageous leaders of the political parties in Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Great Britain, all deserve special recognition on this day for their deep and unwavering commitment to peace. See PA Story ULSTER Agreement. Photo Credit should read: Dan Chung/PA Wire
Motorcars:De Lorean/last minute preparations by employees before its trial on the track. 21/2/1980.
Newsroom following a bomb... Telegraph office.
Tuesday 30th June 2015
After 25 years as Northern Editor of the Sunday World Jim McDowell steps down from the position.
Jim McDowell pictured in the Sunday World office off Royal Avenue.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 29th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers pictured with Editor Mike Gilson at the offices of the Belfast Telegraph in Royal Avenue, Belfast during her vista this afternoon.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 24/11/2006
Renegade Loyalist Michael Stone is tackled by security officers as he enters Stormont this morning. Stone entered the building claiming that he had a blast bomb, and shouting anti Sinn Fein propaganda. He has been arrested by police.
PHOTO ARTHUR ALLISON/PACEMAKER
Crowds in Belfast line the streets as soldiers returning from the Great War march past Belfast City Hall.
Martin McGuinness's Funeral Takes Place In Derry...LONDONDERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 23: The funeral cortege passes through the streets of Derry on March 23, 2017 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The funeral is held for Northern Ireland's former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness who died on Monday 20th March 2017. He was once chief of staff of the IRA but later became Sinn Fein's chief negotiator in the talks that led to the Good Friday agreement bringing peace to Northern Ireland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)...I
Barry McGuigan:Boxing, against Eusebro Pedroza at QPR football grounds. 8/6/1985.
Belfast Telegraph. Old Pictures. One of the bill printing machines.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Exhibition match at Waterfront. (19/06/1997)
PACEMAKER BELFAST MICHAEL STONE
MILLTOWN CEMETRY 1988
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend.
Northern Ireland's First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness smile after being sworn in as ministers of the Northern Ireland Assembly, at Stormont Parliamentary Building, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Tuesday May 8, 2007. The unopposed election of Democratic Unionist Party chief Paisley and Irish Republican Army veteran McGuinness to lead a new 12-member administration heralded an astonishing new era for Northern Ireland following decades of bloodshed and political stalemate that left 3,700 dead. (AP Photo/Paul Faith, Pool)
PRINCESS OF WALES: DIANA'S VISIT TO ULSTER 21/10/1985 / LOVELY TO SEE YOU, DIANATHE PRINCESS OF WALES SHAKES HANDS WITH WELL- WISHERS OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER, AT YORK STREET,BELFAST, TODAY.......
Bishop Edward Daly - Bloody Sunday
Martin McGuinness funeral...Former US President Bill Clinton touches the coffin during the funeral of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness at St Columba's Church Long Tower, in Londonderry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2017. See PA story FUNERAL McGuinness. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire...A
Belfast Telegraph: Explosion. Building. 15/9/1976. No stopping the 'Tele' from hitting the streets, despite having been rocked by an explosion. Here newsboy Joe Officer makes his way through the rubble to sell Belfast Telegraph's.
Hank the dog...Hank the dog visits the Belfast Telegraph office on August 5th 2016 as one of the final guests to visit the office on Royal Avenue in Belfast to thank staff for assisting in his saviour
( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester inspecting air raid damage at Percy Street, Belfast. 21/4/1941
Life on the wing: Pilots of No.19 and No.616 Squadrons pose by a Spitfire. Sitting on the wing (left to right) are Brian Lane, 'Grumpy' Unwin and Francis Brinsden - with Flash the Alsatian and Rangy the Spaniel. In front, are Bernard Jennings, Colin MacFie, Howard Burton and the American volunteer Philip Leckrone. Three of the men - Lane, Burton and Leckrone - did not survive the war. MacFie went on to fly with Bader's Tangmere Wing until he was shot down in combat and captured in July 1941
The Queen. NI visit 1953. Queen Elizabeth's first visit to Northern Ireland. (July 1953)
Flashback to 1963, when Belfast Ropeworks made this 19-inch circumference rope for the re-rigging of HMS Victory at Portsmouth. Pictured is Jim Thompson, a bogey-boy at the Belfast Ropework Co.Ltd. 26/9/1963
Strikes/Protests:Loyalist, Anti Anglo Irish Agreement protest meeting at Belfast City Hall. 'Ulster Says No'. 23/11/1985
Belfast. Streets. City Centre. Donegall Square.
MOTORCYCLING: JOEY DUNLOP. Joey Dunlop motorbike ace during a competition.
WORLD WAR II: BELFAST AIR RAIDS. HUGHENDEN AVENUE.15/16 April 1941. Hughenden Avenue (Cavehill Road). AR 96.
WORLD WAR II: BELFAST AIR RAIDS.HIGH STREET.
4/5 May 1941. High Street after being blitzed. AR 76.
Belfast Telegraph:Building/Royal Avenue. 1986
The Queen. NI visit 1953. Ballycarry children celebrate the Queen's Coronation.
MARY PETERS:MUNICH OLYMPICS 1972.
Mary Peters:Athletics, with Olympic Gold medal she won in Munich. In Belfast City Centre.
Ulster Rugby - European Cup win 1999
Belfast Telegraph:Building/Royal Avenue.
King George V, at Belfast City Hall accompanied by Queen Mary to the opening of the first Ulster Parliament. 22/6/1921.
WORLD WAR II: BELFAST AIR RAIDS. SUNNINGDALE PARK.
4/5 May 1941. Furniture removed from houses. AR 154.