For the new proprietor, John William Maxwell Aitken, known for most of his life as ‘Young Max’, it had been a long wait. Aged 54, when he took over, he had served an extensive apprenticeship within the company, starting as a Linotype operator during vacations from Cambridge University in the 1930s. For this work, the London Society of Compositors had even presented him with a membership card.1 His management roles had included spells of running the Glasgow operation, the Evening Standard and the Daily Express before becoming chairman of Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd in 1955. His father, though, remained head of the Beaverbrook Foundation, which controlled the majority of the voting stock, while a long-serving executive, Tom Blackburn (later knighted), became executive chairman of the company.
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