Rubbing shoulders with the Prime Minister, climbing into a cage full of tigers and helping convict a child killer – it’s all been in a day’s work for The Hunts Post’s long-serving photographer Helen Drake.
March 17 marked 20 years since Helen started at Archant’s Huntingdon office, having successfully completed a YTS training course at the Peterborough Evening Telegraph.
While most of her time is spent covering Huntingdonshire, Helen also helps the Ely Standard, and it was there during the Soham murders investigation in 2002 that she took what she says is her most important photo.
She explained: “Holly and Jessica had gone missing. Police were lacking evidence. I took a photo of Ian Huntley, looking suspicious, sitting in his car chewing his finger nails outside his house.
“Police rang a couple of days later and wanted my cards from my camera and my computer. That pic went to the Old Bailey as evidence because the tyre tread in the photo showed a different tread to what was down a track where he dumped the bodies. It gave them a date to go to garages and check whether he had been in to change his tyres, and he had.”
Highlights of her time at The Hunts Post include being on first-name terms with former PM and Huntingdon MP John Major, meeting ‘the Fonz’ aka Henry Winkler, photographing the tiger cubs used in the Esso ads and being given access to a secret nuclear bunker at RAF Alconbury.
Hunts Post editor Stefan Bartlett said: “Congratulations to Helen for achieving such a magnificent milestone. She is the face of The Hunts Post and a fantastic ambassador for the business.”