For Ken

I had reason to go sifting through my boxes of photographic memories the other day for an illustration to go with my December column l was busy writing for the Bath Magazine.

Check the magazine out if you haven’t yet!

I came upon the photograph you see above of me co-presenting Report West with the late Ken Rees.

Just so happens, yesterday l joined other ex-colleagues and friends of this former Head of HTV News, who had been invited by Ken’s widow Lynne and the family to come together in a celebration of his life.

Me and Uncle Bruce Hockin

Ken was a regional journalist and reporter in Wales and the West before he left to join Independent Television News and went on to become ITN’s Washington correspondent.

I had the honour of introducing the friends and colleagues who paid tribute to Ken.

Many years later he returned to the West Country – as our Head of News – before moving on to do everything from growing grapes in France, to public relations and giving lectures on round-the-world cruises.

Tragically, he was more recently lost to cancer in the middle of a Covid lockdown when a collective mourning was just not possible.

An amazing gathering of friends and colleagues

It was wonderful to come together – in a venue near Chepstow – to share our stories of the man and meet up with the ‘old team’ – and some of the new ones – who help/ed deliver news to the West.

Ken is one of several friends and colleagues we have lost in recent years so it was also fantastic to gather and share our common heritage of memories AND reaffirm friendships.

Michael Buerk shares his memories of Ken.

One of the guests is well known to all l think. Journalist and presenter Michael Buerk who left HTV West many years ago for an illustrious career with the BBC.

I told him how grateful l had been that he swopped sides as l got his old job!

Thank you Lynne – and your wonderful family – and the next glass l raise will be for Ken.