Barrie Clark: Coventry Citizen editor

Barrie Clark, former editor of the Coventry Citizen and a sub-editor on the Evening Telegraph, has died in hospital. He was 74.

Barrie, who devoted 36 years of his life to journalism, was universally liked and seldom seen without his trademark bow tie.

A strong Coventry loyalist, he was invited to became the first editor of the Citizen when it was launched in 1982 and continued to produce excellent community newspapers until his retirement in June 1993.

On that day Martin McKeown, who was then manager of one of Barrie’s favourite watering holes – the Town Wall Tavern in the city centre – declared 29 June would become Barrie Clark Day.

He told the old editor, who still has his own chair in the pub’s “donkey box”, that he would be welcome to claim free drinks for life on every anniversary.

Evening Telegraph editor Alan Kirby said: “Barrie Clark was a remarkable character – an institution. His knowledge of Coventry and his amazing variety of contacts was unprecedented.

“His contribution to both the Evening Telegraph, and in particular the Citizen, was immense, and his work in the voluntary sector, not least within the scouting movement, was an example to us all.

“He was a true gentleman who had a marvellously warm personality – he got on with everyone he met and spoke ill of no-one.”

Barrie was born in the city centre but as a child moved to Wordsworth Road, Poets’ Corner, Coventry, and went on to spend all his life at the same address.

A lifelong bachelor, he was a member of the Three Spires Round Table and in 1979 received the Scout Association’s highest award, the Silver Wolf, for his lifelong support of the movement as a former Warwickshire county secretary and assistant county commissioner.

In 1985 he was named as the Commonwealth Friendly Society Weekly Newspaper Editor of the Year – one of several accolades recognising his professionalism.

He died in Walsgrave Hospital, where he had spent several weeks fighting several conditions, including diabetes.

John West

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