Fred Lonsdale was thirteen when he joined the new Daily Sketch newspaper in Manchester in 1909. The arduous work and poor conditions as a printer’s devil didn’t appeal to many, but it didn’t faze Fred, the excitement of a newspaper was where somehow, he knew he was destined to be.
When the Sketch moved to London, Fred moved with it. Fred befriended as many people as possible that he felt could help him get to where he knew he belonged, the Editor’s office. In his spare time, he read as much news copy as he could both in his newspaper and others to understand both content and writing style. Practising continuously in the local library, Fred soon created a style of his own he was happy with and started to write and submit opinion pieces to anyone that would read them.
Eventually, Fred began to climb the greasy pole of a newspaper man’s career. His hiring policy was simple; you had to want and love ink as much as Fred did. In 1945 Fred finally met someone who lived up to his passionate demands, Janet. Janet was a distant friend of Fred’s wife at the time, and when another of Fred’s secondary relationships broke down, Janet, recognising a lot of Fred’s personality and drive in herself, sympathised with her former friend’s ex-partner and went to work for him.