Leatherland (top centre) with two of his brothers and their wives (c1930)
In 1921 Leatherland moved to Macclesfield, Cheshire renting a council house in Brocklehurst Avenue.
Brocklehurst Avenue, Macclesfield where daughter Irene was born
Leatherland moved to Macclesfield because he had a new job, his first full time post as a journalist. He was Chief Reporter and Sub-Editor on a local newspaper, the Macclesfield Courier.
A year later he married Mollie Morgan, who came from Shareshill, Staffordshire. In 1923 they had their first child, a daughter, Irene.
Wedding of Charles Leatherland and Mary Morgan 1922
The Macclesfield Courier was founded in the early years of the nineteenth century. Leatherland soon became a distinctive figure at the Courier. The editor was often away, and Charles was left to run the paper, which gave him a good grounding in journalism.
In an article in the Macclesfield Express in 1964, when Leatherland was given his peerage, a former colleague Clifford Rathbone, wrote about him :
"with his thick mop of red hair he was a familiar figure in Macclesfield district ... he would return from a meeting and with a packet of mint creams on one side and Turkish cigarettes on the other, he would set to work and simply pour out his copy"
King Edward Street. Macclesfield - the Courier's offices were in one of these buildings
Clifford Rathbone, who still worked as a journalist in Macclesfield, also wrote to Leatherland in 1972 - having read about a speech he made in the House of Lords. His letter conjures up some of the atmosphere of those times :
Dear Lord Leatherland.
Reading your speech in support of Lord Vernon's motion to keep Poynton in Cheshire, brought back many happy memories, especially when you talk about reporting the meetings of the Macclesfield Rural District Council, which in those days were in the Board room at the old Workhouse in Prestbury Road.
You will have forgotten the young boy, Clifford Rathbone at the Courier who you used to send out to Twemlow's in Chestergate for your Turkish cigarettes and pepperminst creams. That was in the good old days of Bob Brown, the editor of the Courier. I shall never forget the early training I received under your good self. You once told me to go to a meeting of the Band of Hope and I recall saying that it would be a waste of timme for there would be no news in such a meeting and you replied : No matter what the meeting, or the event, any journalist worth his salt will be able to find a story. When I handed in my copy, you replied "What did I tell you". I have often used that story to young reporters.
Remember the day when you left Macclesfield and the Salvation Army was asked to collect the old magazines etc from your house at Hurdsfield. What a pile they had. You seemed to read everything in those days. I can still see you standing at the counter of WH Smiths in the Marker Place reading the magazines. I used to envy the respect people had for you. Then came that proud day in the Courier offcie when you won two medals in an international essay writing competition."
In addition to his work on the Courier, he continued to write articles and short stories for other newspapers and journals, ranging from the Cotton Factory Times to a Cinema trade journal. He also wrote for the Daily Herald.
One of his more unusual jobs was writing the lyrics for the prologue to a silent film called "The Loves of a Pharoah". The film was shown at the Macclesfield Premier Picture House in 1924.
In 1923, and again in 1924, Leatherland won gold medals in a national essay writing competion organised by the London Chamber of Commerce. The medals were presented by the Prince of Wales at a special award ceremony in London. He was very proud of this achievement.
Charles Leatherland (1920s)