Shrewsbury born and bred, Phil Gillam is a journalist, columnist and author with a life-long passion for newspapers, magazines and books.
Even as a little boy, he made his own publications using drawing books, crayons, felt-tip pens, scissors, sticky tape, and a John Bull printing outfit. If the results of these labours are not now highly-sought-after collectors’ items, then they should be!
Phil is also known to be a massive fan of pop and rock music across many genres (from The Four Tops to The Flaming Lips, from E.L.O to R.E.M … and – wait for it – from Bread to The Marmalade to The Jam).
In particular he has a deep, epic and enduring love for The Beatles. On the other hand, he has surprisingly little to say about the Bay City Rollers.
Meanwhile, even after all these years, Phil still can’t believe his luck in being married to Carol – “a fabulous wife and mother, a dedicated nurse, a superb cook, brilliant gardener. Really, I could go on but I’ll just embarrass her!”
They are parents to “three fantastic sons – each one a source of tremendous pride and joy.”
Growing up in the Victorian suburb of Castlefields, Phil attended the Lancasterian School, Belvidere School, and Shrewsbury College.
His journalistic career began as a reporter on the Shrewsbury Chronicle, the local newspaper that has served his beloved hometown since 1772 – although Phil himself doesn’t go back quite that far.
He went on to work for newspapers in Devon, Yorkshire and Staffordshire, but most of his career has been spent on titles in Shropshire. Along the way he has interviewed show business icons (from Joan Collins to Norman Wisdom) and major politicians (from Neil Kinnock to Tony Blair). Feature writing assignments also saw him going to sea with the RNLI and flying in an RAF jet fighter.
Among his favourite interviewees he lists singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan and lead singer of The Kinks, Ray Davies.
In the days before mobile phones, Ray contacted Phil from a telephone kiosk in London. Hence the headline: “Konversation with a Kink in a kiosk”.
Phil has written many hundreds of feature articles, news stories and personality profiles. While at the Shropshire Star group of newspapers, he worked as Features Editor, News Sub-editor, and Editor.
In 2015 he began editing and publishing his own magazine for the Belle Vue, Coleham and Reabrook areas of Shrewsbury.
Phil is also the author of several novels and non-fiction books.
And he has also worked for a number of charities including Shropshire Seniors, Relate and the Alzheimer’s Society.
He is unapologetic about his great fondness for television shows from his childhood years such as Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet.
And nowadays, he also lists among his passions the cinema, local history, walks in the countryside, and the company of good friends.
Phil became a Shrewsbury Town Councillor in 2017.