Headlines are an art, aimed at attracting readers to an item. They can be clever, funny or informative. My current favourite, from the Stockport Express, is: “Dominatrix won’t go down without a fight”. The headline for this item has brought you here, not least if your name is Neil Vowles!
In an item by Neil, published in Friday’s Brighton Argus, relating to Richardson’s Yard, the Brighton Housing Trust shipping container homes project, it was wrongly suggested that £1,000 of crystal meth had been seized by police at the property ahead of this year’s Pride.
It was an unfortunate blip in Neil’s otherwise excellent standard of reporting. The crystal meth was not seized from any of the shipping container homes at Richardson’s Yard, nor were any of our residents involved. The police raid was at a neighbouring property, not a BHT one.
The error was understandable given that the photographs used by the Argus, which had a reporter on the raid, showed our distinctive shipping container homes in the background.
I am grateful to Neil and the Argus for correcting this in the online edition of the article, and for the correction published today (19th August 2017) in which they apologised to the residents of Richardson’s Yard and to BHT for this error.
It hasn’t, however, tempered the comments in the neanderthal world that is otherwise known as the Comments section on the Argus website.
Neil Vowles left the Argus this week. His departure is a huge loss for the paper. I have enjoyed working with him, and found him thoughtful and with integrity. Like many journalists at the Argus, he has come in for unfair criticism from time to time. There was even an ugly rumour several years ago that he might be the anonymous Brighton Politics Blogger, but I have it from an unimpeachable source that he never stooped that low.
I conclude by thanking Neil for the standard of his reporting, and wish him well in his new role at the University of Sussex. And if I may, one word of advice: keep clear of crystal meth.