Tom Glen Dies, Aged 101

A former freelance journalist and photographer has died, at the age of 101.

After starting out as working in the silk dyeing industry and then as a night school teacher, Tom Glen’s breakthrough in journalism was during the Second World War, in 1943, when he took over from the late James Russell, the accredited freelance news correspondent in Vale of Leven and Loch Lomondside for the national and local press.

He contributed extensively to the local, Lennox Herald newspaper as ‘Valeman’ and is said to have been known on every Glasgow news desk as ‘Glen of Alexandria’, covering all the major hard news, industrial and sports stories in the area. These included the gradual decline of the silk-dyeing industry, which at its zenith was the area’s foremost employer.

His interest in photography led to him founding Scottish Colorfoto Laboratories in 1967. He built a state-of-the-art factory on a new industrial estate in Alexandria, which at its peak employed 250 people developing and printing films for chemist shop outlets across Scotland, including all the High Street branches of Boots the Chemist.

Says former Lennox Herald editor, Bill Heaney: “Always impeccably dressed, articulate and well-mannered, friends and family remember him as a determined and optimistic businessman, who was always looking forward to new challenges.”