Harry Boreham: Norfolk advertising chief was keen charity worker

Harry Boreham.

Harry Boreham. - Credit: Archant

Harry Boreham

A newspaper advertising career spanning a third of a century involved dramatic changes for senior executive, Harry Boreham, who has died aged 91 at his Norwich home.

He was advertising manager for Eastern Counties Newspapers (now Archant) at Prospect House for 11 years and responsible for the group's daily and weekly titles and the London office.

During his 33-year career, the advertising department expanded from a handful to more than 140 staff. When he joined the Norfolk News Company in December 1948, then based in London Street, there were just two field sales staff, but by his retirement, it was a 40-strong team.

A Londoner by birth, he gained his first retailing experience from his father, who ran a grocery business. Although his first job was with an advertising agency in Fleet Street, when war broke and reaching the age of 18, he led a five-man rescue team throughout the 1940-41 London blitz. In 1941, he joined the RAF, serving in America, Canada, India, south-east Asia and Japan.


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On demob, he returned to London to the advertising business and joined the staff of a London office representing a number of provincial newspapers. He wrote a letter to the company's then general manager asking for a job and a chance to leave 'The Smoke' with his wife, Honor.

He had only visited the county once before he got a post but it was enough to convince him that it was the place to settle and bring up a family. He was taken on and was rapidly promoted having started on the Norwich Mercury series of weekly newspapers. In 1952, he became assistant advertising manager of the EDP and Eastern Evening News. He was involved in the launch of a design studio and a further innovation, the 'dial-ad' service, which was to employ a team of 20 women.

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Further promotion followed as advertisement sales manager for all Norwich publications in December 1969 just months after the merger of Eastern Counties Newspapers with the East Anglian Daily Times.

Then 15 months later, he became advertising manager with responsibility for the entire department, design studio, the London office, and for co-ordinating group advertising policy.

It was also a period of further change. Through the 1970s, tabloids changed to broadsheets and broadsheets changed to tabloids and advertising became fully computerised.

When he retired in March 1982, the previous Friday's edition of the EDP had more than 140 columns of advertisements in 34 pages. In 1948, when he joined the EDP, an edition had just six or eight pages, which had a total of about 140 columns of advertisements in a week.

He was involved in the city's commercial life and many organisations including the Publicity Club of Norwich and Norfolk. There, he had been quietly influential in persuading the city authority to provide seats at various sites in Norwich for visitors and senior citizens to enjoy.

A committee member of the Norwich Publicity Association, he was a member of Norwich Number 1 Round table and the Norwich Junior Chamber of Commerce.

For many years, he was chairman of Norfolk & Norwich Spastics Association (since renamed Scope), and also the East Anglia regional committee. Nationally, he held committee office in the Newspaper Society. In retirement, he was also a City of Norwich tourist guide and enjoyed hobbies including car maintenance and carpentry.

His first wife, Honor, predeceased, as did their only daughter.

He leaves a widow, Joan, a grandchild and two great grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at St Faith's Crematorium on Wednesday, September 18 at 11.45am.Michael Pollitt

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