Tributes to former Post Chief Photographer Jack Catlow

For 25 years the Lancashire Evening Post's former Chief Photographer Jack Catlow photographed the county's life and times. Following his death at the age of 92 his family say he will be remembered as a dedicated photographer and devoted family man.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 6:30 pm
Jack with  camera
Jack with camera

Tributes have been paid to the Lancashire Evening Post’s former Chief Photographer Jack Catlow, who has died at the age of 92.

Jack died at his home in Ribchester, near Preston, surrounded by his family.

He had worked for a quarter of a century as the Post's Chief Photographer, travelling across the region and abroad for the paper.

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Jack pictured earlier in his photographic career

He covered many of Preston North End’s famous matches and his photos featured in Sir Tom Finney’s autobiography. He was also proud to have photographed many members of the Royal family. One of Jack’s most memorable photographs featured The Beatles when they performed at Preston’s former Public Hall. Jack had persuaded the band members to stand on different rungs of a ladder.

The former pupil of Clitheroe Grammar School trained as a photographer with Lancashire Constabulary at Hutton after joining the police force on leaving school. His photographic skills were put to good use during National Service from 1945 when, based in Egypt, he flew on reconnaissance flights in the wood framed Mosquito aircraft.

Jack returned to his police career following demob in 1948 but switched to journalism in 1949, after being invited to join the Post's staff .

He became Chief Photographer in 1952, leaving the paper in 1977 to work at Miniprints in Knowle Green, an independent photography firm which specialised in estate agency photography, where he became sales manager, retiring in 1990. His late wife Edna also worked at Miniprints.

Always an eye for a good picture: Jack and Edna photogaphed enjoying a memorable sunset in Tenerife

He and Edna had two daughters Sue and Debs. Sue said: “He was just devoted to family. He will be remembered for his photography career and as a gentleman - people have said he was a true Ribchester gentleman. He worked hard. He was dedicated to his career but since he retired he just lived for us really. We'll remember him as a hard working and devoted father. He was absolutely devoted to our mum, she was the love of his life and family meant everything to him. It's been a privilege to care for him in the final few years of his life."

Jack had attended the village school in Ribchester and lived in the village all his life. A talented fooballer, he played for Ribchester Football Club and on leaving school three professional clubs wanted to sign him.

When growing up he helped out on local farms, helping with haymaking. Sue said: "We've got stories of him riding shire horses bare back."

The veteran camera man was also a sought after wedding photographer. Sue said: "He did hundreds and hundreds of weddings over the years. Dad had the knack of relaxing bride and groom and he didn't over pose photographs."

Jack, pictured back row far right, playing for his RAF football team while doing national service based at RAF Fayid

He was a life deacon at Knowle Green Congregational Church, where his wife Edna had been organist. The couple had enjoyed annual holidays in Tenerife for decades.

Jack was widowed in 2017 and leaves Sue and Debs, grandson George and son in law Andy.

Jack died on March 19. A service to celebrate his life will take place at Knowle Green Congregational Church on Wednesday, April 7 at 1pm followed by committal at St Wilfrid's Parish Church, Ribchester. The service will be live streamed. For further information see William Houghton funeral directors Facebook page. Donations in Jack's memory can be made to the North West Air Ambulance charity.

*Jack featured in a report in the Post in April 2020 - see here.

The message PNE footballer Sir Tom Finney wrote for Jack in a copy of Sir Tom's autobiography.

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