Photographer David celebrates 45 years on the Peterborough Telegraph

His career spans six MPs, 28 different Peterborough United managers and even 12 editors, and as he reaches 45 years as a Peterborough Telegraph photographer David Lowndes insists 'I'm not retiring yet!'

Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:19 pm
David with a tiger used in the Esso adverts. It seemed to be friendly! he said.

David (65) is a well-known face across the city having joined what was then the Evening Telegraph back on September 3, 1973 when he was one of nine photographers on the books.

His interesting career, which he enjoys reliving on a regular basis, has seen him get up close with the Royal Family as well as World Cup winners and other sporting superstars such as George Best who told him to ‘sod off’ (in slightly harsher language).

Not to mention prime ministers, entertainers such as Eric Morecambe (who David describes as the nicest celebrity he has met) and even astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

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Peterborough United celebrate beating Huddersfield Town in the 2011 League One play-off final at Old Trafford

Reflecting on some of his most memorable moments at the PT, David recalled: “Posh at Wembley has to be one of the highlights. The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy was the best one as the air was full of champagne.

“Tragic memorable moments include the Fengate explosion (in 1989). When I arrived at Fengate I was driving a white Escort with a big radio aerial on the back of it and a reflective jacket on the windscreen so it was assumed I was a copper and they let me in.”

David later went up in a helicopter to get an aerial shot of the explosion. “There was a reporter on News at Ten that night and you couldn’t hear him because there was a helicopter above him!”

The photographer’s job has not changed over the years, but technology certainly has. “When I started we were using film and the cameras were completely manual. We didn’t have light meters or autofocus and everything you took was handprinted by yourself,” said David, who has no plans to hang up the camera just yet to spend more time on his boat.

David Lowndes (right) EMN-180302-175245009

“I’ve been proud and privileged to have been at the front of every major event to have happened in Peterborough over the years,” he added.

“And I’m not retiring yet!”

David convinced an ice-cream seller at the East of England Show to hand over an ice-cream to the Queen Mother. Photographers were not meant to photograph Royals eating.
Disaster came to Fengate after an explosives van delivering to a fireworks factory blew up on March 22, 1989, killing firefighter John Humphries and injuring up to a dozen more firefighters.
David recalled: The real Mr Blobby came to town. He upset me in the morning because he used to push people around. He pushed me into a display in a record shop! In the afternoon he was going to Posh. The guy with him said can you think of anything that will give him good publicity. I said why dont you blob the referee? He said as long as you will be there taking pictures. Before the game started, after the presentation party had left the pitch, it was just me, the referee and Blobby standing there. So Blobby dropped him to the floor.
Lord Mawhinney and comedian Jasper Carrot watching Posh play Birmingham City. David said: We always said that sitting at a Posh match on your tin box was not just about taking action photos. It was about keeping an eye on what was happening at the ground. I never did find out what the joke was!
David said: I was really, really lucky to get a flight on a Hercules from RAF Wittering to photograph the RAFs new Harrier. Every news organisation was trying to get on that plane. Who knows how we did it but we did it. I was sat on the edge of the ramp at 8,000 feet and waved at the pilot until he was in the right place.