Keith Lomas

The Ashbourne News Telegraph is in mourning this week following the death of its photographer, Keith Lomas, after a short illness.

Lomas, who was 62, was appointed in May 1992 following the retirement of Wilson Ainsworth.

Born in Derby and educated at Bemrose School, he initially wanted to be a reporter. But at 16, when he applied to Raymonds News Agency and they had no vacancies, he was offered instead a job as a trainee photographer.

He remained with Raymonds for more than 25 years and then moved to the Trader Group of papers before coming to the News Telegraph in 1992, for what his wife Judy described as "the best years of his working life".

Lomas quickly settled into the annual pattern of jobs and from agricultural shows and carnivals to sporting events he was made welcome wherever he went, his cheerful, friendly yet professional manner putting everyone at ease. Schools, especially, made a friend of Lomas and many town mayors appreciated his help and advice. There were royal occasions too, one of his early jobs being the official opening of Carsington Water by the Queen.

Lomas liked to read and walk, and enjoyed nothing more than holidaying abroad where he and his wife indulged their interest in natural history and wildlife by visiting such places as Zanzibar and Tanzania, the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Nepal and India, Borneo and the Rain Forests.

Lomas loved Ashbourne and district and was looking forward to retiring here.

His funeral was at at St Oswald’s Parish Church, Ashbourne.

Donations will be given to the Sue Ryder Hospice at Staunton Harold, where Keith died on 13 June.

Brian Vertigen

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