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Death of former Evening Post journalist known to generations

Former Bristol Evening Post journalist James Belsey has died. He was 60.

For generations of Evening Post readers, James was the man who captured the popular mood, in particular with his reports and reviews on the music scene.

He arrived at the newspaper in 1966 and was soon making a name for himself with coverage of the city in the hectic scene that was the “swinging” 60s and 70s.

James was ever-present at the Colston Hall, reviewing some of the biggest bands of the moment in the days when supergroups were a familiar sight at the venue.

But his journalistic range was much wider than just contemporary music, and with his many interests he could turn his hand to producing an authoritative feature on whatever subject was asked of him.

His journalism career began as a cub reporter on the Birmingham Evening Post, and from there he moved to the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald and then to the Bristol Evening Post.

After leaving the Post in 1993, when he was deputy features editor, James pursued a freelance career.

In this capacity he helped increase the profile of the Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood charity, worked for the Bristol-based Centre for Reproductive Medicine, numerous quality magazines and the regional in-flight publication for airline EasyJet.

James was also an author, contributing to a number of books as well as writing his own, and one, The Forgotten Front, was turned into a TV programme.

Post journalist Tim Davey said: “James was a good friend and a really great bloke to work with.

“He was one of the first local journalists to seriously embrace the fledgling pop culture and treat it seriously.

“His depth of knowledge on all manner of subjects from music icons to local history was truly phenomenal.”

James leaves a wife, Ava, and two children, Christopher and Harriet.

Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or e-mail pastill@nep.co.uk