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The Maddison Line:

A Journalist's Journey Around Britain


About this book:

  • ISBN: 190 452 4060 (paperback)

  • Published 2003

  • Price £7.00 + postage

  • 225 pages

About the Book:

The Maddison Line is not the shortest distance between two points, but a winding road embracing great journeys and wonderful tales enchantingly told en route..
The author covered Newcastle United for the Evening Chronicle in the glory days of Joe Harvey... and while there spent time with Liverpool's Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley. He visited, with the team, all the Football League's great arenas and tells the behind the scenes stories. He went on to work in Manchester and Fleet Street and along the way had lunch with Ingrid Bergman in London and interviewed variety stars like Eric Morecambe and Tommy Steele.
Taking the return trip to the north country he spent 18 years editing newspapers in the North East and Cumbria... and the stories behind the headlines just roll out!
Brilliantly written, funny and informative, The Maddison Line is a must for those who want to know what has happened in sport, the media and in northern life.


I'm rather glad Roy didn't become a cricketer... we'd have missed out on a wealth of journalistic tales. Honest, funny, eye-opening, they provide a real insight into the world of national and regional newspapers. From humble hack to senior editor, to national president, The Maddison Line lets the facts tell a good story. Fiona Armstrong, Broadcaster and Writer

Ex-Mail man makes pilgrimage to town
An ex-Hartlepool Mail journalist came back to his former place of work to tell of his memories and the journey through his career.
And Hartlepool born Roy Maddison, who worked as a reported in the Mail newsroom over 45 years ago, remembered his time here like it was yesterday.
Roy, who grew up on Hartlepool's Hopps Street, off Hart Lane, said, "I loved it. It was lovely to be in your home town where you were born and bred and you knew people.
"The people of Hartlepool are a very special race, we are very special people who work hard."
After attending Lynnfield, Dyke House and West Hartlepool Technical Schools, Roy started at the Northern Daily Mail, the Hartlepool Mail's former name.
He started as a compositor, designing pages in the print room until he became a journalist at the age of 20.
Roy, who now lives in Cumbria, said, "At weekends I used to cover a football team called West View Albion and I used to write up a report and push it through the editor, Frank Dines' door, and hope he would notice me.
"Eventually I asked him if he would see me and told him I wanted to be a journalist and he took me on as a trainee. The rest, as they say, is history."
Roy's days at the Mail were always busy but the staff still got time to enjoy a pint or two.
The reporters' favourite after work watering holes were The Devon, The Royal Back and The Shades on Church Street.
On returning to the town Roy noticed a few changes from the time he worked here.
"I think the biggest change would be the Marina because it used to be docks when I was around. And the Wesley, that used to be a church."
Roy left the Mail newsroom to work on the Journal, in Newcastle, and then on as sports writer on the Evening Chronicle covering Newcastle United.
After four years there, Roy went to work on the Sun, based in Manchester and then the Daily Sketch in Fleet Street, London.
He came back up north and worked as features editor on the Evening Gazette, but got his first editor's job at the weekly North Tyneside paper.
After being editor on the Northumberland Gazette, he became editor of the Whitehaven News and a director of Cumbrian Newspapers in 1987. He retired in 1996, and later wrote his first book called The Maddison Line, A Journalist's Journey around Britain.
The Hartlepool Mail, September 2003.

Newspapers used to be run by journalists who didn't know the value of money. They are now run by accountants who don't know the value of journalism, still less what it is. Roy Maddison's book provides all the evidence I need for that assertion and is what distinguishes it. He tells a candid story of a social, political and technological revolution and writes as a man who was manifestly in touch with his readers and often out of touch with those who did not allow him a pride in his job.
There are, however, still eccentric newspaper proprietors and managements, such as those in Cumbrian Newspapers, who take a pride in their products and the independence of their editors. I am glad Roy Maddison found them.
Sir Bernard Ingham





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