Hastings Senior Mens’ Forum

THREE men and a Quote with Philip Elms was this week’s talk.

At 13 years of age and like most boys of his years he was a paper boy and his round was in the St Matthews church area.

But his hobby was to give verbal news as well as printed news. He would often give the latest sports news from the radio as well as the printed news as he delivered his newspapers.

In fact Philip was well-known and liked for his news bulletins.

His father saw an advertisement in the local newspaper and advised his son to apply for the position as a junior reporter for the Bexhill Observer in 1964 and the printing process in those days was quite cheap and crude. Philip was successful with his application.

When he was 18 he became the youngest sports reporter in the country. In 1968 he moved over to the Hastings Observer as a layout designer. His job was to make sure all seven editions came out on time.

In 1987 the year of the Great Storm he ran a 10-page special edition which was later published as a book which sold out in a week.

Eventually in 2009 the owners of the Observer at that time removed all the sub-editors and a lot of the editors, the parent company being £400 million in debt. The local newspaper had to struggle to survive.

It was at this time three local editors decided to write of their experiences in local newspapers and other odd stories they had reported on.

For one day their book Three men and a Quote rose to number one in the sales chart. This set Philip on the road to being an author of short stories and a stage play called Intruder. Now eight books later he has found his problems of being made redundant are behind him,

Our meetings are every Tuesday from 2pm till 4pm at St Matthews Church hall.