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Tributes pour in following death of reporter

Created on 20/05/2022 @ 10:56

Former Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies has led the tributes following the death of former Welshpool newspaper reporter Barry Jones, who died on Tuesday, aged 66.

Mr Davies, who now chairs the Conservative Party in Wales, described Barry as: “Just about the most honest and dependable journalist I’ve encountered.”

Barry died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on Tuesday after being admitted the previous day. He had been a Welshpool based reporter on the Powys County Times for over 45 years. He had dealt with health issues for most of his adult life and had battled kidney problems for many years.

“Barry was just about the most honest and dependable journalist I’ve encountered - with a great sense of humour,” said Mr Davies.

“In Montgomeryshire terms he was one of the greats. In my mind’s eye as absorbing his death, I see him scribbling away when I was chairing the Montgomeryshire Council and it’s Planning Committee in the late 70s/early 80s. It’s a sad day.

Former County Times editor and North Wales Newspapers editor-in-chief Graham Breeze said: “The news of Barry’s passing is very sad indeed.

“All his friends and colleagues know that he has fought a brave fight against failing health for many years, but the news still comes as a shock. I saw him only last Broad Street, W

“I worked with Barry for over 40 years and we became good friends. He joined the County Times straight from school and quickly developed a solid reputation with colleagues and members of the public. He was a trusted journalist and became ‘Mr News’ in the Welshpool area with a brilliant eye for a story.

“Nothing much ruffled him and I lost count of the occasions when he would leave the building saying he had just filed some copy only to find he had uncovered the splash of the week without a hint of excitement.

“He will always be remembered for his sense of fun and infectious laugh – but most of all as an outstanding old-school journalist.”

Another former colleague and friend is ex-County Times photographer Phil Blagg, who spent more than 20 years working with Barry and described him as a “one-off”.

“I loved him to bits, I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone like him again,” said Phil. “He was someone who was very intelligent but he never liked to let on how clever he was; he knew a lot about a lot of things, he knew so much about everything. His knowledge of all things was unbelievable.

“When I first joined the paper in the mid-90s I remember that he was the main front page story every week without fail.”

Former County Times editor, Duncan Foulkes said: “It is very sad news indeed. A unique character, a font of knowledge about Welshpool and the arts and a genuinely lovely man.

“I have many happy memories of working with Baz. Such great company whenever we managed time to socialise at the County Times. We had a common interest in illness caused by kidney disease, so Baz's passing is particularly close to home for me.”

Martin Wright, now editor of the Express & Star and Shropshire Star, was also Barry’s editor at the County Times. “Barry was a great character and a brilliant journalist. I learnt a huge amount working with him when I joined the County Times in 1997.

“I got to know him well over the next decade or so and realised how much more there was to him than the slightly grumpy chief reporter I first encountered. A top man who will be truly missed.”

Nick Knight, another ex-County Times editor said: “Baz soldiered on through shocking illness and never wanted to give up his work on the County Times.

“After his many spells in hospital during the years I worked with him he would always head back into the office the second he was dropped off back in Welshpool.

“As he told me many times whenever I tried to talk him into having a break or working fewer hours he would always say ‘it’s what keeps me going.’

“He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of music. Mention a band you liked and invariably he’d bring in a rare release saying ‘you might like this.’ There will never be another like Barry that’s for sure.”


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