Barry Salmon

Former editor of the Batley News, Barry Salmon, has died at the age of 64.

Barry,
who was at the helm of the News for eight years until his early
retirement in 2002, died at home in Mansfield on 1 November, following
a long illness.

The funeral took place at Mansfield Crematorium
on 9 November. His family asked for donations for the John Eastwood
Hospice in lieu of flowers.

Barry lived with his wife Vicky, whom he married in March this year.

The
couple were childhood sweethearts but lost touch until they found each
other again through Friends Reunited in 2002. Shortly after getting
back together they moved from Batley to Mansfield. Vicky described him
as a “gentle, caring and loving man”.

Barry had a son Nigel and two daughters, Phillipa and Nicola, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

His
career spanned more than 40 years, which took him from Mansfield to
Doncaster, Malta, Hong Kong, Leamington Spa, Ossett and Batley.

Newspapers
he worked for included the Doncaster Evening Post, the Rotherham
Advertiser – where he trained TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson, – and the
Ossett Observer.

Everyone in Batley and Birstall knew Barry, and
he was well-respected, both for his skills as a journalist and for the
love he showed for his adopted town.

He left his mark in so many
ways, including as a member of Batley Cemetery Support Group, the Town
Centre Management Group, Batley Community Alliance and Batley
Environment Forum to name just a few of the organisations he was
involved with.

The series he wrote on the Batley Variety Club
earned him the title of Yorkshire Journalist of the Year in 1999 at the
Yorkshire Press Awards.

As well as working in journalism, Barry
had owned pubs in Sheffield and Emley Moor and ran an off-licence. He
loved old films and music.

Reporter Group Newspapers editorin- chief John Wilson paid tribute to Barry as one of life’s true gentlemen.

“He was a great colleague and I was always grateful for his advice,” he said.

“He
was modest and talented and one of those people who could keep his head
when everyone around him was losing theirs. He gave the Batley News a
tremendous service, developed and grew its circulation and produced
firstclass trainees and staff. He was looked up to by everyone who
worked with him and was one of the best colleagues you could have.”

Former
Reporter Group editor-inchief Danny Lockwood appointed Barry to the
editorship of the Batley News in 1994. He said: “Barry was one of the
old school of journalists. He was a pro who knew the newspaper business
inside out, from writing a simple district news par, to putting a paper
to bed. He was a bloke who cared deeply for his community and the
people within it, and Batley was blessed to have a man like him as
editor of the News, at a time when so much was happening in the town.
He was one of the kindesthearted men I’ve ever worked with – sometimes
I think he took the business of editing his paper almost too much to
heart. But anyone who worked with Barry had to be touched by his
passion, commitment, humour and humanity.”

Another former
Reporter Group editor-in-chief, Keith Hustler, said: “Barry was a fine
and dedicated newspaper man of the old school. He could always be
relied on to do his utmost to bring out a top-class newspaper.”

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