Tributes to influential former Hitchin newspaper photographer
PUBLISHED: 11:27 02 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:40 02 April 2019
A former Hitchin newspaper photographer – who snapped stars such as The Beatles during his career – has passed away aged 75.
Richard ‘Dick’ Smith died at his home in the town on Monday, March 25, after a long battle with illness.
Following a spell with a showbiz agency in the early 1960s – where he captured the Fab Four for TV show Ready Steady Go – Dick moved to Hitchin and joined The Hertfordshire Express.
He then went on to work for the Express’ successor, The Herts Gazette. after its closure.
Bill Smith worked under Dick at the Gazette after joining in 1973. He recalled his fond memories of working together, while also paying tribute to his late friend.
“Those were exciting days for photographers, we were all keen to push the boundaries and raise the standard and status of newspaper pictures.
“Dick tirelessly supported and encouraged us, and was genuinely pleased when we won awards for our work with him.
“Working with Dick was never dull and often fun, but he always remembered the newspaper’s place at the heart of its community.
“As team members changed he maintained an enviable standard of photography on modest resources.
“Dick and I stayed good friends as I continued a career in the regional press, and it’s thanks to his example that I’m still working in photography now.”
Nick Lockett also worked under Dick after joining the Gazette in 1973.
“There was never a dull moment,” he said.
“Not only was he was an amazing photographer, but he was a philosopher, a communicator, a man with great understanding of life and empathy for people.
“He was the very best boss imaginable and a dear friend. He gave and gave and gave.
“Training and encouraging young photographers will be his greatest legacy.
“If you look back over your life there are only two or three people who really profoundly influence you.
“For me Dick will always be number one.”
Dick lived in Hitchin for more than 35 years with wife and journalist, Jean. He leaves behind two sons, Saul and Ben, and daughter Aimee.