Newbury Park photographer of Margaret Thatcher and Apollo 13 dies

14:12 11 January 2013

Picture of Charlie Ley taken last year

Picture of Charlie Ley taken last year


The Apollo 13 launch, John Lennon in bed and Margaret Thatcher’s campaign for Number 10 were all captured by photographer Charles Ley, who died last week at the age of 87.

Charles, who worked for the Ilford Recorder and The Mirror, died of pneumonia on Thursday at Queen’s Hospital, Romford.

He is survived by his widow Betty, 82, of Ardwell Avenue, Newbury Park, and their sons Jon, 52, and Tim, 46.

Jon, a sports journalist, said: “He loved people, he was a people person and got the best out of them and knew how to make them smile. He loved photographing boxing, racing and showbiz, he loved the big names.”

Charles started his career as a messenger on The Mirror and took a photography evening class near Fleet Street.

He then set up a wedding photography business but later returned to the newspaper.

Jon said: “He covered some of the great events. He got sent to America to take pictures of the launch of Apollo 13 and was friends with Henry Cooper and Phil Collins.”

Other highlights of his career included being embedded on the campaign bus of Margaret Thatcher when she was running for Prime Minister and photographing John Lennon, who used to call him “Charlie lad”.

One of his most famous photographs was of John Lennon and Yoko Ono sitting in bed at the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam with a sign saying “Give peace a chance”.

“It showed the world that someone cared,” Jon added.

In 1986, Charles left The Mirror and spent a decade working at the Ilford Recorder.

Jon said: “He loved his time there as he was doing what he loved most – taking pictures.”

Charles’ funeral will be on Thursday at Forest Park Cemetery & Crematorium, Forest Road, Hainault from 1.30pm. Flowers are welcome or donations to the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital.


Latest News Stories

28 minutes ago
Redbridge Council have extended the 30 minutes free on street parking in Ilford town centre. Photo: Steve Poston

Shoppers in Ilford town centre are set to enjoy the same 30 minutes free parking perk as the rest of the borough.

Yesterday, 14:31
Polly Chowdhury, left, and Kiki Muddar, right, were convicted of the manslaughter of Chowdhury's daughter, eight-year-old Ayesha Ali in March. Yesterday their sentences were cut from 18 to 15 years for Muddar and from 13 to 10 for Chowdhury at the Court of Appeal

A woman convicted of killing her eight-year-old daughter had her sentence reduced at the Court of Appeal this morning.

Yesterday, 12:12
Mitzvah lunch at the Bet Tikvah Synagogue

A synagogue held a fundraising lunch for a homeless hostel.

Yesterday, 10:59
Polce at the sheltered housing unit where Mr Down and Mr Mallin lived, off Cecil Road, Ilford, shortly after arresting Mr Mallin on September 5. Photo: Ken Mears

An Ilford sheltered housing resident accused of stabbing his neighbours to death denied the double murder at the Old Bailey today.

Most read news


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder