Press and Journal photographer, Sandy McCook, who has captured Scotland’s news events for 30 years, has been honoured for his long service to the newspaper.
It was Inverness-based McCook’s turn to be on the other side of the viewfinder when Alan Scott, managing director of Aberdeen Journals, travelled north with Press and Journal editor, Derek Tucker, to present him with a gold watch at the newspaper’s Highlands and Islands HQ in Inverness.
McCook, from Nethybridge, joined the newspaper in Aberdeen, aged 21, after studying photography at Napier College, Edinburgh, and embarked on a career that saw him cover major news stories including the Lockerbie disaster, Piper Alpha, the Dunblane shootings and the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
A keen outdoorsman and accomplished skier, McCook managed to combine his skills in March, three years ago, and ski through a blizzard to get the first picture of the RAF Sea King helicopter that became stranded for a week, high in the Cairngorms. Only weeks ago, he hiked miles over a peat moor to get a photo of a missing yacht off the west coast.
It was not all gloom and doom that he covered, and one of his favourite 'jobs' was when he was invited to afternoon tea with the Queen Mother as he photographed her meeting Press and Journal columnist, George Fraser, when Fraser reached his 100th birthday – still supplying copy to the paper.
McCook has also become a well-known face covering the Royal National Mods throughout Scotland. After 20 years in Aberdeen, including two years as acting picture editor, he moved back to the Highlands and the Inverness office.