Daniel Pearce recalls the life of Ted Kirkham, the founding editor of the Travel Trade Gazette, who passed away peacefully aged 100 earlier this month.
It was just after we landed in Split on the way to the ITT conference last Monday, 10 June, that the TTG Media team heard the news about Ted from his son, Graeme.
And how fitting our location was. As the founding editor of the Travel Trade Gazette in 1953, Albert Edward “Ted” Kirkham was at the forefront of travel conferences, and the travel industry at large, throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s. I think he would have appreciated the toast we raised to him that evening in Croatia.
As Ted told me when I first met him in 2013, at the time of the 60th birthday of TTG, he and his business partner Leslie Stone had had precisely the same idea for a pioneering travel industry paper in the years following the Second World War, as outbound leisure travel from the UK was really taking off.
Leslie had been in the holiday advertisement department at The Daily Express before joining travel industry monthly Holiday World, while Ted was PR manager for the Polytechnic Touring Association. Both spotted the opportunity for a weekly publication that linked travel suppliers with travel agents. The first edition of the Travel Trade Gazette, the first weekly publication of its kind in the world, was born as a four-page newspaper on 21 March 1953.