February Monthly Talk 2016

1st February 2016

Ken Bennett is a well-known and popular journalist and there was a good audience at the Parish Hall for his talk.  Ken has been very supportive of Love Lydgate and other community groups throughout Saddleworth and his interest in communities has been a feature throughout his long career.

Born in Liverpool and orphaned at four years of age, (he went to school with Paul McCartney and Arthur Dooley), Ken knew from an early age that he wanted to write.  His training as a journalist began with the St. Annes’ Reporter where he learned the rudiments of the trade and the importance of “getting it right”.   He progressed to the Sunday People and then the Sunday Mirror, honing his skill and forever interested in the people behind the stories.

Not all of Ken’s stories were as light-hearted. He was living in Ashton when children started disappearing.  It was, of course, the beginning of the nightmare known as the “Moors Murders” and he met lots of the people involved in this terrible crime.  By now advancing to Editor status, Ken illuminated both sides of the Northern Ireland “troubles” and later the horrors caused by Peter Sutcliffe, who killed thirteen women before he was brought to justice.

These were big national stories, but Ken maintains the same interest and searches for truth in local matters,  such as the working practices at the High Moor quarry which caused such distress to the local community that they set up a “Stop the Stench” pressure group.  Currently, Ken is involved with the mysterious case of a man who asked the way to Dovestones and was found dead there the next day.

As Ken stressed, “journalists are trained seekers of the truth” and that is why he remains interested in the highs and lows of people in all walks of life and says that he has no plans for retirement after 60 years in the job.





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