I’ve always time to trade war stories with Ian Dow, a veteran of the Daily Record who’s worked in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.
But here’s a date for your diary that I hadn’t quite realised was so close – on January 16, 2008 Dowser will be celebrating 25 years with the paper.
I really shouldn’t be surprised. When I was a cub reporter at the Evening News I was dispatched to Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden to stop random strangers and ask them inane questions as part of a “vox pop”
When I saw a chap with a four-year-old daugher in tow I stopped him and he was good enough to chat and have his photo taken. As he departed, he handed me his business card – Ian Dow, Daily Record.
I was in awe. Those were the days when the Daily Record was truly massive – selling almost a million papers a day and the pinnacle of Scottish journalism. It took an age to get a job there, usually by spending long years doing weekend shifts while holding down a job on a weekly or evening paper. Then you’d spend several years as a “permanent shifter” working five days a week, every week, without a proper contract. It was worth it though, when you eventually got to join the staff.
It was another six years before I joined Ian at the Daily Record and another six years after that when I departed to do my own thing. Seven years on from that and Ian’s still ploughing his own inimitable furrow. So what’s his secret for longevity?
“Don’t ever take a job with a title. If you do it’s only a matter of time before someone notices you and you’re on your way out the door.”
I hope to raise a glass with Dowser on that landmark date later this month, which he has proudly described as “a triumph of inertia”.
Aye. They don’t make them like that any more.