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Mirror man turns 100

Last updated: 2003-12-10

Simon Clyne

Simon Clyne

A former Daily Mirror picture editor has celebrated his 100th birthday with a special party and card from The Queen.

Simon Clyne, who is a resident of Nightingale in south London, marked the occasion with a lunch for family and friends at the home on Sunday.

Hull-born Mr Clyne had a distinguished career in journalism, starting out with his local newspaper and working in Derby and Liverpool before joining the News Chronicle in Manchester.

His talent was rewarded with a move to Fleet Street where he became the paper's picture editor, spending 14 years there before joining the Mirror in 1950.

He served 18 years as picture editor at the Mirror, during the paper's halcyon days, retiring in 1968.

"He started out as a reporter then became a sub-editor before assuming the role of picture editor although he never actually handled a camera himself," recalled his son, Jeremy, a member of Lambeth Council, who lives in Streatham. "But he had an eye for a picture and how it would look on a page and was good at dealing with people."

Recently Mr Clyne senior attended the retirement party for the Mirror's top photographer Kent Gavin at Arsenal football stadium in Highbury.

"The party was attended by all sorts of celebrities including Joan Collins, Carol Voorderman, his ex-colleague Derek Jamieson, Terry Venables and various Page Three girls, but I think my old man stole the show," said his son, who has worked as an actor and journalist

"It was fitting that he was invited because it was my father who gave Gavin his first job in Fleet Street and also suggested that he shorten his first name from Kenneth to Kent. The Mirror sent a car and we got dressed up in our dinner jackets. I thought we'd be there for about half an hour, but I didn't get my father back to Nightingale until about midnight!"

Mr Clyne senior married his wife, Ena, in 1934. She died in 1997 at the age of 82. In addition to Jeremy, Mr Clyne has a daughter Adrienne, who travelled from Israel to be present at the lunch along with her daughter Gabrielle.

Mr Clyne was active in synagogue affairs and was warden of Brixton Synagogue in the 1950s and 60s. He was founder of the Brighton and Hove Jewish Arts Society, of which he is life president, and was a member of the Board of Deputies.