Photographer’s runner during Queen’s coronation tells of power of printed images

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A photographer’s runner who watched the late Queen’s coronation while perched high up on scaffolding inside Westminster Abbey has said he hopes the King’s coronation will make people appreciate the power of printed images.

Alex Falk was just 17 and working for the Press Association on Coronation Day 70 years ago.

He told the PA news agency: “What we try to do is show people you’ve got an image… if you don’t print it, you don’t see it for the next generation.

He said digital images “travel the world” but get “lost” whereas printed images go on display in people’s homes and “hopefully this coronation will bring it back to people so they can enjoy it”.

Mr Falk, 86, said he cannot visit London on the big day because he has to care for his wife but they will enjoy watching the ceremony on television with a toast of wine.

He described working at the late Queen’s coronation as “wonderful”.

He told PA: “I was a junior runner on that particular occasion, a very long day working with photographers taking their images from wherever they were taking them back to Fleet Street to get them processed and printed to publish in magazines and papers.

“It was wonderful because of course everything was totally new. We were in the abbey and up at the scaffolding right at the top, facing them as they walked down the aisle.

“They were taking pictures, we then took those images on five by four sheet film back by motorbike to Fleet Street.”

He said he is sure the King will not “let us down” next month and hopes it will be an opportunity to showcase the UK to the world.

He said: “We are not an island unto ourselves. We need people to come, we need to travel abroad, take the good news. The Queen was yesterday, the King is today.

“We as a country should gain from it because we are the centre of attraction.

“People are watching us, let us not let the country down and I feel sure that the new King and Queen won’t let us down.”

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