London, Feb. 2, 2017
We were pleased to have a “voice from the past” contact us, namely Catherine Challands who used to work in the London office of Variety when it was on St. James’s Street. Following are a few excerpts from the missive, which also give information on Bob Hawkins:
I found Sime’s Site when I was fiddling around on the computer looking for stuff about Variety. I worked at the London office in St. James’s Street from 1962-1970 as PA first to Harold Myers and then, when he retired, to Bob Hawkins…
I loved working there, Harold was a fantastic boss and I learned a huge amount from him (I was a rather shy and naïve young girl from South Wales when I started there) – about politics and good food among other things. I also got on well with Bob and became good friends with Bob’s wife Rosella – we used to go shopping in Soho, the only place she could get the kind of food she was used to. I’m still in touch with her. Bob is still with us at age 92 but he doesn’t use his computer anymore. I also have very fond memories of Dick Richards (film critic, also of the Daily Mirror) and Bob Ottaway (tv). In those days I took down every letter and review in shorthand, rather embarrassingly Harold had better shorthand than mine (he had been a verbatim reporter at the House of Commons at one point I think) and he could type faster!
I feel sad, as I guess some old-timers do, at how the paper has changed, but I think it is still respected in the business because you often see it quoted.