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Former Evening Standard photographer Ken Towner dies aged 75

Evening Standard photographer Ken Towner with his “front page” on his retirement aged 58 after 20 years on the paper, ending a 30 year career in Fleet Street.
©Evening Standard

Former Evening Standard Picture Editor David Ofield has sent PAN this tribute to Ken with images supplied by current Evening Standard Deputy Picture Editor Richard Ainsworth:

Former Evening Standard photographer Ken Towner has died after a short illness aged 75.
Ken began his career at the Reading Evening Post. Moving on to The Evening News the rival paper to the Evening Standard at the time.  When the Evening News closed down in 1980 Ken moved over to the Evening Standard.

Ken was a brilliant all round photographer, he covered the Olympic Games in Atlanta and loved covering fashion shows around the world including London, New York, Milan and Paris. It was in Paris he got his famous picture (below) that made front pages all over the world when at a Vivienne Westwood show, Naomi Campbell fell over on the catwalk, due to the high heels she was wearing, Ken was as talented and competitive as his peers, he notably enhanced the pages of The Evening Standard with his inquisitive eye & technical knowledge.
He excelled in feature pictures focusing on the unusual aspects of life and views of London. From the barge masters on the Thames to workers who cleaned the tube at night and stunning views of Westminster bridge with the Houses of Parliament in the background shrouded in early morning mist were among his large repertoire.
When Ken retired in May 2002 he enjoyed spending time with his family as well as pursuing his many interests as well as his love of fishing and golf. 
He is survived by his wife Anne son Jack and daughter Helen & granddaughter Mary.

1993 Paris Fashion Week – Naomi Campbell falls over while on the catwalk wearing mock crocodile shoes with 5in platform soles and 12 in heels at Vivienne Westwood’s show.
©Ken Towner Evening Standard

NAOMI CAMPBELL FASHION MODEL 1993 Naomi Campbell whose skill at walking in Vivienne Westwoods favourite enormous platform soles is unparalleled fell off her pedestal last ngith. Naomi, wearing a tartan kilt did not merely trip in the shiny lavender platforms, she collapsed in a spectacular heap during Westwood’s Paris show.
©Ken Towner Evening Standard

3 comments

  • Ken we saw the good times. RIP old friend.

  • Ken and I met through our respective partners who were colleagues in education. The four of us spent very many happy hours together in our Sussex homes; with laughter, good food (generally bbq-ed trout) and a glass or two of fine wine. I agreed to play golf with Ken if he promised to teach me how to cast a fly. I recall we played a round once only, much preferring to go fly fishing. Ken, you were a wonderfully talented photographer and a fantastic fly fisher; I shall dearly miss your ‘tight lines’. God bless you, my friend. Hux.

  • What can I say old boy we’ve come a long way since mr Dpoleys class
    Ken and I were at school together in Hastings and remained so for more than 60 years Ken made himself

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