Tributes paid to veteran News photographer who passes away

REMEMBERED Former News photographer Michael Scaddan
REMEMBERED Former News photographer Michael Scaddan

PICTURE GALLERY: Wickham and Portchester Beer Festivals

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IN A career spanning more than 30 years, News photographer Michael Scaddan was one of the best-known faces in the Portsmouth area.

He took pictures of thousands of events between the late 1970s until his retirement four years ago.

As reported in The News yesterday, Michael died peacefully in Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, on Sunday, after contracting a mystery illness in the new year. He was 66.

Michael’s career as a photographer started around the clubs and discos of Portsmouth where he was employed to take pictures of the entertainers and customers. He worked regularly at Nero’s, Some Place Else and Joanna’s.

His enthusiasm for photography and working late led to him being given regular evening shifts at The News and he eventually became an ever-present in the newsroom.

He was affectionately known as Bald Eagle by colleagues for his ability to swoop from one assignment to the next at breakneck speed.

Michael joined the staff in August 1987 and remained at the newspaper until he took early retirement in December 2008.

He was born in Brussels little more than a month after the Second World War ended in 1945.

His father George was serving with the army in Belgium and was stationed in Brussels. It was where he met and married Michael’s mother, Germaine.

Shortly afterwards George returned to Portsmouth with his wife to help run the family grocer’s shop in Crasswell Street, Landport. His parents had three more sons – John, Bob and Peter – who all survive Michael.

John said: ‘Michael went to St Luke’s School, Southsea, which is where he gained his love of photography at evening classes there.

‘It became his passion and he was always experimenting with new techniques.

‘He set up a dark room in the shop’s cellar where he used to develop his films.’

John said Michael’s fondness for trying out new techniques led to him becoming a computer expert with the advent of digital photography.

Michael took pictures at countless weddings, but was never happier, added John, than when he was hanging out of a helicopter or light aircraft taking aerial pictures, dozens of which graced the pages of The News.

Picture editor Dean Kedward said: ‘It was a great privilege to have known Michael. He could always be relied upon to turn out a great picture when one was required. He was the consummate professional and friend.’

And friend Frank Pearce, a county councillor for Hayling Island and also a photographer, said: ‘Michael was always a brilliant photographer. If ever I wanted to know anything technical, I would turn to Mike.

‘This is a loss to all photographers. Within the photography business, he was one of the leading lights. Some of his work for The News was quite outstanding.’

· Michael Scaddan: born June 18, 1945; died March 11, 2012