Who we are
The Club provides opportunities for journalists and others interested in the media to meet and learn of new developments, debate the latest issues and explore our collective past as communicators. Our events are many and varied, from the purely social, such as our annual ball and our monthly drinks, to discussions on matters of importance not only to journalism, but to the furtherance and protection of free speech throughout the world.
We welcome as members past and present journalists, journalism students, printers, designers, cartoonists, producers and corporate communicators.
Details of the current Board and Officers of the Club are available here.
The London Press Club can trace its origins back to 28 October 1882 when George Augustus Sala, a prominent journalist, illustrator and cartoonist of his day, presided over the inaugural dinner at Anderton’s Hotel, Fleet Street. Many distinguished figures have been involved with the Club – a list of past officers is available below.
Lord Black of Brentwood
Doug Wills is Managing Editor of the London Evening Standard, The Independent, Independent on Sunday and i.
He began his career as a reporter with Thomson Regional Newspapers going on to several regional newspapers before working in London from 1987. Doug held a number of executive positions with the Evening Standard and was appointed Managing Editor in 2005, and then Group Managing Editor in 2011.
Dr Martyn Bond (Deputy Chairman)
The proceeds of his first magazine, which he edited while still at school, bought him his first typewriter. After reading Modern Languages at Cambridge University, he gained his PhD at Sussex and Hamburg Universities, comparing British and German broadcasting. He joined the BBC after university in 1966 and trained first in World Service radio and later in TV. After a short spell as a university lecturer in Northern Ireland teaching European Studies he went to Brussels as Press Officer at the Council of Ministers of the EU from 1974 to 1981.
He was BBC Correspondent in Berlin for the next two years, and then went back to Brussels to work in the Council Secretariat until 1989. He then moved to London as Director of the European Parliament Office in the UK for the next ten years. From 2000 to 2003 he was Director of the Federal Trust for Education and Research, an independent think tank specialising in European affairs.
Richard Dymond (Treasurer)
Richard Dymond has over 20 years’ experience in corporate communications and issues management.
A Physics graduate, he worked in Northern Ireland politics before training as an editor and technical journalist with the Institution of Electrical Engineers.
Moving to the UK Atomic Energy Authority he worked on employee and technical publications before joining British Gas as an employee communications specialist. He held various posts within British Gas’s corporate communications directorate, variously he was responsible for media relations, issues and crisis management, employee communications, marketing PR, PR sponsorship and parliamentary relations. Before he left the company in 2004 to become a freelance consultant, Richard held the post of national media relations manager.
He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Institute of Internal Communicators. He became a Director of the London Press Club in 2004 and is a Fellow of the RSA.
Robin Esser, Executive Managing Editor of the Daily Mail – and a long-standing member of the London Press Club – was appointed to the Board at a meeting of the Club’s Directors on 6 June 2002. Educated at Wadham College, Oxford, where he was editor of Cherwell, Robin worked freelance for a number of years before joining the Daily Express as a reporter.
He was then successively editor of the William Hickey column, Features Editor and head of the New York Bureau, before returning to the UK in 1970 to become Northern Editor. Consultant editor of the Evening News in 1977, he later rejoined the Daily Express, working closely, as Executive Editor, with Sir Larry Lamb, in 1985.
The following year, he succeeded Sir John Junor as Editor of the Sunday Express, and became Group Editorial Consultant for Express Newspapers in 1986.
Bill Hagerty is a former national newspaper journalist, mainly with Mirror Group Newspapers. After writing on showbusiness for the Daily Mirror, travelling the world to interview major film and music stars of the day, he was at various times an assistant editor on all three of the Group’s titles – the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People. Leaving the Group in 1985, he ran the features department and then the Sunday edition of Today newspaper before rejoining Mirror Group in 1987 as deputy editor of the Sunday Mirror. He filled the same role at the Daily Mirror before editing The People, 1991-92.
Since then he has reviewed film and theatre for a number of newspapers and magazines, written extensively on the media and acted as a consultant for Tribune. Since 2002 he has edited the British Journalism Review, a forum for the international news media. He currently also reviews theatre for The Sun and is editing Alastair Campbell’s Downing Street diaries for publication in four volumes. He recently was appointed to the editorial committee of the London Evening Standard.
Bill is married to the journalist Liz Vercoe and they have a teenage son, Adam. Bill also has two grown children – his son, Will, is a senior executive at The Sun – and two small grandsons.
Ray Massey is Transport Editor of the Daily Mail
He on the organising committee of the annual London Press Club Ball, raising funds for the Journalists’ Charity of which he is a trustee.
He has twice been named ‘Journalist of the Year’ in the Guild of Motoring Writers’ annual awards.
Born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne and Northumberland, he joined the North East’s biggest growth industry – the drift South – to study English and German Literature at Warwick University. He is fluent in English, German and Geordie.
He began his career as a graduate trainee on the Coventry Evening Telegraph where he cut his journalistic teeth on the motor industry and covering the miners’ strike.
In 1987 he moved as a reporter to the Press Association in Fleet Street where he covered the Kings Cross Fire and the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise, securing the first interview with the captain of the doomed ferry. As a ‘boy on the bus’ he shadowed David (now Lord) Owen for 10,000 miles during the 1987 General Election. He was also despatched to ‘spend a night partying’ with Streatham brothel-keeper Madame Cynthia Payne – ‘Madame Cyn’ – following her celebrated courtroom victory. In traditional fashion, he made his excuses and left – but only after filing.
That same year he was appointed PA’s Education Correspondent to cover the landmark Education Reform Act before being poached in 1990 to do the same job for the Daily Mail. He caused a political storm by revealing exclusively that then Labour leader Tony Blair was to send his son Euan to the grant-maintained London Oratory school – a flagship of Tory opting out policy which Labour vigorously opposed.
He was appointed Motor Industry Correspondent of the Daily Mail in 1995, and Transport Editor in 2000, just ahead of the Hatfield rail crash and subsequent decade of chaos on the railways.
Married with two young sons, he is author of the book ‘Parent Power’ – a consumer guide to the state and independent school systems – and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
David Selves (Deputy Chairman)
David Selves is Deputy Chairman with responsibility for the day-to-day running of the club.
Before joining the Midland Bank, David had a number of jobs including digging holes and cleaning bacon boilers! Since leaving the Bank in 1976 where he gained experience as a lender and corporate planner, he has been involved in many business challenges. He has run several of his own businesses and has also been involved in several business start-ups and rescues in a variety of sectors. In 2009 he bought the closed, run-down 700-year old pub next door to his house in England’s longest, oldest medieval street and turned it into an award winning pub. (www.thephoenixtavernfaversham.co.uk)
David is also an accomplished After Dinner Speaker and Charity Auctioneer and a highly respected interviewer and panel chairman who instigated the LPC Quarterly Grill where he grills high profile guests with questions submitted to him by the audience.
David Selves is the author of several books:
Quentin – A Spy
Life Goes on Forever
The Noble Challenge
A lover of all sports, David’s main passion is for cricket. He has played in over 1000 games all over the world and is a Vice President of Somerset County Cricket Club.
More information is available at www.davidselves.com
Dave Rotchelle (unless otherwise credited)
1882-83 George Augustus Sala; 1884 H.H.S. Pearce; 1885 Thompson Cooper; 1886 George Sumner; 1887 Edward E. Peacock; 1888 James Walker; 1889 George Babington: 1890 Charles F. Pardon; 1891 G. Vernon Marsh; 1892 T. McDonald Rendle; 1893 W. Mackenzie Duckworth; 1894 Ernest A. Peachey; 1895 Edgar F. Pardon; 1896 Charles Williams; 1897 Joseph Watson; 1898 John Corlett; 1899 Thurgood Catlin; 1900 Charles Stewart Caine; 1901 Lord Glenesk; 1902-16 First Lord Burnham; 1916-28 Second Lord Burnham; 1928-35 Lord Riddell; 1935-64 Lord Astor of Hever; 1964-65 Horace Sanders; 1966-70 Sir Max Aitken;
1971-72 Sir Hugh Cudlipp; 1973-76 Sir William Barnetson; 1977-81 The Hon. Vere Harmsworth (as Lord Rothermere 1978); 1982 Lord Matthews
1903 T. McDonald Rendle1904 Frederick J. Hillier; 1905-07 Wilfred A. Sutherland; 1908 Samuel J. Sewell; 1909 Edward L. Goodman; 1910 Herbert E. Jewell; 1911-12 Alfred Inwood;
1913 Edward L. Goodman; 1914 Arthur Moreland; 1915-16 Herbert Grover; 1917-18 James George; 1919 J. Henry Iles; 1920 Arthur W. Last; 1921 Herbert S. Oakley/F. Whelan Boyle; 1922 William H. Lock; 1923-24 Edgar Wallace; 1925 Frank Dilnot; 1928-29 George F. Allison; 1930-31 A.P. Garland; 1932-33 J. T. Bolton; 1934-35 Horace Sanders; 1936-37 Andrew Stewart; 1938-39 H.C. Vickery; 1940-41 W.H. Salmon; 1942-43 M.P. Walker; 1944-45 W. Morley Richards; 1946 Ernest A. Bland; 1947 D.R. Spendlove; 1948 H. Richard Simmons; 1949-50 Frank C. Betts; 1951 Kenneth P. Pipe; 1952 George M. Murray; 1953 F.E. Lavers; 1954-55 Trevor Evans; 1956-57 Thomas H. McArthur; 1958 William K. McGowran; 1959 Leonard Marsland Gardner; 1960 John N. Marshall; 1961 Arthur H. Tietjen; 1962 J.F. Arnold Frost; 1963-64 Louis Wulff; 1965 H.J. Chamberlain; 1966-67 Percival G. Sutton; 1968 J.L. Manning; 1969-70 E. Alan Smith; 1971 J.L. Manning; 1972-73 Louis Wulff; 1973-74 W.D. Thomas; 1975-76 Peter Dacre; 1977 Alec Harrison; 1978 Frank Arnold; 1979-80 Stuart de La Mahotière; 1980-81 Penelope Wallace; 1981-83 Peter Grosvenor; 1983-84 Terence Wright; 1985-86 James Nicholson
London Press Club
1986-90 John Brodrick; 1990-99 George Westropp; 1999-2002 Dennis Griffiths; 2002-2007 Donald Trelford; 2007-2013 Steve Oram