He was a Blackpool lad who knew the managers and doormen of every venue. Each season he would prowl the shows, meet the performers, make contacts. He had the right personality, was funny and also a journalist who could place stories in the evening paper and the nationals. He was popular.
Memories are many: Lennie dropped off the uncontrollable Freddie Starr at my flat so I could take him on a chaotic shopping spree; a brilliant Saturday lunchtime in the Tower Lounge bar with Lennie and veteran comic Jimmy James who had us both in tears of laughter; at a nightclub on the next table to Tommy Cooper who walked across the dance floor spilling ice cubes from the front of his trousers saying: 'An Eskimo having a pee'; and being genuinely intimidated whilst interviewing Barbara Windsor by the presence of husband gangster Ronnie Knight.
Little Jimmy Clitheroe was in his 40s when I met him. He was a radio, TV and stage star and at 4ft 3inches tall played an 11-year-old schoolboy all his career. He lived with his mother next door to Pop Wadlow, the grandfather of my wife-to-be, Maria Colaluca. Jimmy was a gentle chap.
A PR company arranged a meeting between him and Wee Georgie Wood, a star of a previous generation, at a cafe in the Winter Gardens out of season. The only people present were a couple of elderly businessmen having morning coffee, me and a photographer, and the PR people of the two stars.
Wee Georgie Wood was over 70 at the time and 4ft 9 inches tall. All he would talk about was his sex in loud and leery tones and kept asking Jimmy about getting his leg over. The only person who laughed was his PA. No one else did. The man was crass. Jimmy was a genuinely nice bloke who looked out for his elderly neighbour Pop Wadlow and was very close to his mother. He took an overdose on the day of her funeral a few years later.
I bought a brand new red Spitfire in 1967. I was getting married and thought it's now or never. It cost £715. It immediately figured in two memorable incidents.
The first was when I parked outside the office in Victoria Street, just below the Winter Gardens. A sunny day, the top down. A crowd of lady pensioners on a trip were wandering down the street. Lennie said to the ladies: 'That's Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones. You should ask for his autograph.'
So they did, even though I said I wasn't.
'Stuck up sod,' one said, and then they were chasing me all the way to the office waving their handbags.
The other occasion involved Ray Martine: not a major name but he had his moments. He was a smooth Cockney Jewish comic who was also blatantly gay at a time when it wasn't legal. He hosted Stars and Garters on ITV in the 1960s and was on Jokers Wild in the 70s and was a big friend of Lennie who brought him round to my flat and we became friends. He was a brilliant comedian, did a season with Les Dawson on Central Pier and left to host his own show at The Sands nightclub. The Sands in Marton, Blackpool, not Vegas.
A few weeks before Maria and I married in 1967, he came to see me at the Gazette office. He was flamboyant as always and wore an immaculate bright green suit as we chatted on the steps. He looked like a cockatoo. Maria arrived from work, they exchanged a kiss, and we got into the open topped red Spit which was parked nearby. I started to drive down the street when Ray leapt in front of us with his arms out. A squeal of brakes, holidaymakers stopped to see what was happening and Ray flung himself on the bonnet and pleaded: 'Don't marry her. You know it's me you really love. There's still time. Our love was meant to be.' 'Piss off, Ray,' was not effective. Maria tried to slide below the dashboard. He milked the situation and, even though gay sex was still frowned upon, started getting sympathy from the crowd, who adding their own comments. Eventually he allowed us to drive away, leaving him standing sadly in the middle of the street blowing kisses. Of course, we stayed friends.