Dennis Flatt, photographer

Dennis Flatt.  Picture courtesy of the Telegraph & Argus/ telegraphandargus.co.uk
Dennis Flatt. Picture courtesy of the Telegraph & Argus/ telegraphandargus.co.uk
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DENNIS Flatt, who has died at 88, spent half a century chronicling the triumphs and tragedies in his home city of Bradford for his local newspaper.

From the Beatles’ appearance at the old Gaumont Cinema in 1963 to the agony of the fire that burned down Valley Parade, it all passed before Dennis’s camera.

The Beatles photographed bt Dennis Flatt. 
Picture courtesy of the Telegraph & Argus/ telegraphandargus.co.uk

The Beatles photographed bt Dennis Flatt. Picture courtesy of the Telegraph & Argus/ telegraphandargus.co.uk

Beginning as a photographer’s assistant and working his way up the ranks to chief photographer, he spent 47 years at the Telegraph and Argus, under six editors.

He ran the photographic department, which at its peak employed half a dozen cameramen, for 17 years.

Nikon made him its press photographer of the year after seeing his pictures of Bradford City in mourning in 1985, and he won more plaudits for his snapshots in time of the local boxer Richard Dunn, who fought Muhammad Ali in Munich.

But it was, he said upon his retirement in 1991, the pictures of ordinary folk that made his job what it was.

He gave much credit to his late wife, Sally, for putting up with the unsocial hours the work entailed.

The two had met at the New Victoria Ballroom in Bradford city centre, where the Beatles would later clown in front of Dennis’s lens, and where now stands the derelict Odeon cinema.

Sally had worked as a warper at W J Whitehead’s mill in Laisterdyke, and she and Dennis celebrated their diamond anniversary four years ago. They had no children, and he put the success of their relationship down to “always trying to agree with one another”.