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Long-serving former council reporter dies aged 66

A long-serving former daily paper local government specialist has died after a long illness at the age of 66.

Barry Hammond, the Wolverhampton Express and Star’s senior municipal correspondent for nearly 30 years, died peacefully at his home in Brewood last week.

Mr Hammond, left, who retired two years ago, started his career with the Express and Star in the early 1960s and had two spells with the Birmingham Post and Mail before returning to the E&S in the mid-70s.

He moved to the E&S head office in Wolverhampton in 1979 to cover the now-defunct West Midlands County Council and Severn Trent Water Authority, and from 1990 until his retirement he was Wolverhampton City Council correspondent.

Express and Star editor Adrian Faber said: “Barry was an outstanding journalist. He covered local government issues for our paper with great distinction.

“He never shirked from asking the awkward questions and he had the priceless ability to present complex issues in a very clear way.

“He was an institution in Wolverhampton. He had a tremendous insight into local politics and a dry sense of humour.

“We are all very sad that he has passed away at such a relatively early age.”

Wolverhampton City Council leader Neville Patten said: “It is very sad to hear about Barry’s death. He will be very much missed among the political community in Wolverhampton.”

The council’s senior press officer Julia Corrigan added: “Barry was a man of great integrity and embodied the highest standards of journalism. It was both a privilege and a pleasure to work with him. He was a lovely man.”

Mr Hammond leaves a widow Louise, sons James and Tom and two grandchildren.

Said James: “He loved his work and he enjoyed his retirement, too. Only a few days ago we were talking about all the changes in journalism. He looked back on his career with a great deal of satisfaction.”


Aidan Goldstraw (12/10/2009 10:01:30)
Very sorry to hear of Barry’s death. Truly one of the nice guys of our trade and a consummate professional.