Prolific Fleet Street writer dies aged 65

David Buchan
David Buchan

A WELL-known journalist who became one of the top Fleet Street writers has died.

David Buchan, of Marina, St Leonards, passed away after a short illness. He was 65.

He was a member of Hastings Writers’ Group (HWG) for many years and wrote the club’s reports for the Observer.

Mr Buchan’s writing earned him the HWG Writer of the Year award in 2009.

His prolific career started more than 30 years ago when he joined the Daily Express.

There he started as a general reporter but was quickly promoted to industrial correspondent.

His friend of six years, Richard Holdsworth, said: “This involved him covering trade union affairs where the big power brokers such as Jack Jones, Hugh Scanlon and Joe Gormley virtually ruled the country.”

Mr Buchan then became political correspondent. At the Conservative conference in 1975, he predicted that Margaret Thatcher was favourite to be the next Tory leader.

In the early 1980s, the Express launched The Daily Star and Mr Buchan became the youngest political editor in Fleet Street.

Mr Holdsworth said: “This took him all over the world following the fortunes of first James Callaghan and then Mrs Thatcher.

“But David’s biggest coup came through other contacts and he was the first to learn that British troops had taken Port Stanley and the Falklands War was over. David and The Star had beaten the whole of Fleet Street.

“All this skill as a journalist came together in 1987 when he received The Sunday Times Journalist of the Year award – not that you ever heard him mention the fact nor his many other achievements. David was a modest man with it all.”

In his time Mr Buchan was a keen sportsman and he had extensive knowledge of football, cricket and golf.

He also enjoyed jazz.

Mr Holdsworth said: “David was an exceptional man, with clear and concise writing skills and a wonderful wit.

“He will be sorely missed by all that knew him, especially his wife Anne and family, in fact, anyone lucky enough to have met him.”

Mr Buchan’s funeral is on May 10 at 2pm at Hastings Crematorium. 

He is survived by his wife, Anne, a son, Al, from a previous marriage and a grandson, Bobby.