HMS Ark RoyalThere has been an agency in Portsmouth since Lord Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory set sail in 1805 and we have been supplying stories to the nation’s media from the south coast since the 1950s.

The name M&Y dates back to 1970 but the agency was originally owned by Peter Marshall, who left to become manager director of Visnews in New York, resulting in the first name change when local man Lawrie Bloomfield replaced Peter as owner and worked under the name, ‘Bloomfield’s'.

Bloomfield’s quickly established a reputation as one of the south’s best source of stories and when the workload became too great for him to handle alone, Lawrie employed Henry Yelf and Robin Marriage as junior reporters to share the burden.

When Lawrie departed to take up a reporter’s post at BBC Radio Solent, Henry and Robin took control and used their initials to form M&Y. Henry’s stint in joint charge lasted just four years before following mentor Lawrie into local radio and Phillip Chadwick, now senior producer at Sky News, replaced him at the helm.

DianaCurrent joint owner Pat Symes arrived via Australia and the Portsmouth News in 1976, taking over from Phillip as a partner three years later. Phillips and Robin both headed for jobs in television before Mike Walker, who had built up his reputation as a photographer on the Portsmouth News, joined Pat at the helm just in time to cover the Falklands War and the raising of the Mary Rose in 1982.

That partnership was in place for 22 years and saw M&Y branch out into pictures and sport, covering football matches at Portsmouth, Southampton and AFC Bournemouth and Hampshire cricket, with a subsidiary company Sussex Sports Services set up to cover Brighton and Hove Albion FC and Sussex cricket.

The agency also ran a successful public relations company in conjunction with Phil Colley, 'M&Y PR', producing brochures and promotional photographs for a host of commercial companies.

Alex Crook arrived from the Bournemouth Echo as a trainee reporter in 2001 and joined Pat on the board of directors of the now limited company in 2004 when Mike went into semi-retirement.

The agency now covers football matches at Swindon Town, Reading and Bristol City and supplies copy on Premier League games to be reproduced in America and around the world, in addition to their thriving news department.

Employees who have gone on to bigger things include Greg Milam, Washington correspondent for Sky News and Kevin Bocquet, who spent many years as the BBC’s Manchester reporter.

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