A press photographer described as one of the ‘founding fathers’ of a regional newspaper has died at the age of 84.
Johnnie Johnson was the first chief photographer of the Shropshire Star when it launched in 1964 and was a pioneer in the use of colour in news photography.
When the Queen visited in 1967 Johnnie made history when his photo of her became the first colour picture to be used in a British newspaper on the day it was taken.
His most famous photo was of a gunman pointing both barrels of a shotgun in his direction during a 1968 siege at Weston-under-Redcastle. He escaped unhurt.
Former colleagues have paid tribute to Johnnie, who used cutting edge new printing technologies when he was taken on at the Star.
Shropshire Star editor Keith Harrison said: “He was a legend in the industry, a superb photographer and a nice chap to boot. He will be greatly missed.”
Brian Bould, who succeeded Johnnie when he left to become chief photographer at the Express & Star in Wolverhampton in 1969, said: “He liked people, and people liked him, and that came out in his photographs.”
His son Paul, who is deputy editor of The Guardian said: “He loved the Shropshire Star and the Express & Star, and loved the atmosphere of newspapers and the camaraderie.”
Johnnie died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital after being ill for some time. His funeral will be held at Shrewsbury crematorium at 1pm on Wednesday 9 May.