Paul Cave

Article excerpt

Journalist, theatrical agent and entrepreneur

Paul Cave was a journalist who later became a theatrical agent and an entrepreneur. He wrote the "Spotlight" series for the Daily Mirror, focusing on education and law, and later claimed he had been Fleet Street's first education correspondent and that his work had been behind the introduction of legal aid. As a theatre impresario he persuaded the crooner Frankie Vaughan to wear a top hat and carry a cane, but he failed to see that Clint Eastwood had a distinguished future ahead of him. In addition, he once headed the firm which printed the nation's banknotes.

Born in Guernsey in 1917, Paul and his three younger brothers moved often because their father was an actor and theatre manager; they lived at various times in Cheltenham, Cromer (where Paul's father ran the pier theatre), and Carlisle. While a schoolboy at Carlisle Grammar School, Cave hit the headlines when he helped a policeman arrest a violent man. Ending up in Rhyl, Cave got his first job as a journalist on the local paper. Seeing a group of three girls, he immediately determined he would marry one of them, Joan Jones. He did so and they enjoyed more than 60 years of a devoted relationship until her death in 2003.

Moving to a national newspaper, the News Chronicle, Cave might have had another career but for the Second World War. He had a trial to play for Lancashire as a wicketkeeper and batsman. "I considered I was the finest wicketkeeper in England," he said.

But war came and Cave volunteered. As a warrant officer at a camp based in the grounds of the Yorkshire residence of the Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, Cave was ordered to organise a dinner for Lord Halifax and to be present. Cave pointed out that he could not do this as a non-commissioned officer, so his CO made him a second lieutenant. When Cave found this meant a reduction in pay, he went back to his CO, who made him a full lieutenant. Lord Halifax praised the dinner and particularly the wine - which, it turned out, had come from his own cellar. …