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Tributes to photographer hailed as 'one of the best'

Friends and ex-colleagues have paid tribute to a former Birmingham Post and Mail photographer described as “one of the best.”

John Reavenall, left, died last Friday at the age of 63, just 14 months into his retirement.

Originally from Bournville, the award-winning photographer first joined the Birmingham Post in 1964 and continued to work for the paper and its sister titles for nearly 45 years.

In 1971 he received the Dixon’s Midlands Photographer of the year award from Princess Alexandra at the Birmingham Press Club.

Post and Mail picture editor Steve Murphy described John as a “legend.”

He said: “He was a friend to all, not just a colleague. He was the nicest chap, extremely well liked across all departments, everyone had a lot of time and respect for him.

“He was a real gentleman and a great character. Lots of people in Birmingham knew him. He took pictures of generations of people, from when they were a baby to adulthood.”

Deputy picture editor Marcus Queenborough, who worked with John for 26 years, added: “John was greatly loved and respected by many across the country. I have been inundated with people offering their sympathies since the sad news broke.”

Former colleague Alan Williams, who worked with John for 20 years, said: “He was a wonderful gentleman and photographer, particularly at cricket and rugby, but an all-round great diary photographer.

“John was always willing to give advice to young photographers and welcome people into the department.

“He went through so many transitions in photojournalism, from mixing chemicals to taking pictures in black and white with a traditional camera and then on to digital, and he took it all in his stride. He went through the ‘golden age’ of newspaper photography.”

John had taken early retirement from the Trinity Mirror-owned Birmingham titles in November 2008.


Paul Delmar (12/02/2010 10:53:48)
Let’s clink a glass to a very special photographer.We will all miss you Cheers Paul

Steve Murphy (12/02/2010 15:31:46)
Reavers will be greatly missed round here.For those who wish to attend, his funeral will be held on Monday 22 Feb at Lodge Hill cemetery in Birmingham at 2pm

tim Easthope (12/02/2010 15:59:25)
Lovely Lovely man, he was top draw and will be sadly missed by all…..hope there are steam trains upstairs…Tim Easthope

Dean Kedward (12/02/2010 16:07:14)
First met John when I was a trainee. Wiped my nose and helped me out many a time. I’ll miss you fella

Dave Jones, Press Association (12/02/2010 16:15:08)
It was a pleasure to work alongside John, you knew the day would improve when he appeared on a job…

Phil Hill (12/02/2010 16:30:28)
A great guy who will be sadly missed by me and all those he came into contact with.

Sam Bagnall (12/02/2010 16:41:57)
Reavers was a true gentleman in every way, he always brightened up my day! he will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Toodle Pip John!…

Dale Martin (12/02/2010 17:19:55)
Always had a smile and always had a mischievous sense of humour. I saw him as a grown up Nigel Molesworth (if Molesworth ever grew up) from the Geoffrey Willans books, Sniggering behind the headmasters back. I think back to the times that the Post editor would come out of his office and slam the door because of the laughter from the photographers desk as Post conference took place next door. Happy days.

Philip Foster (15/02/2010 10:25:13)
Its forty years since I worked with Reavers at the Post&Mail.
And in all that time I never met a more valued colleague.
Kind, funny, brilliant at the job, a true gentleman in every regard.

Carol Evans (15/02/2010 11:04:19)
We shall miss you dear friend, we all had so much fun together in the old days. Our reuinions will never be quite the same without you. With great affection. Carol and ‘The Flying Pig’

Patricia O’Gorman (15/02/2010 12:30:02)
John was one of the nicest people I ever had the pleasure of knowing. He shall be missed by many.

Darren Quinton (15/02/2010 21:49:11)
Reavers was a gentleman and a pleasure to work along side and great fun, I’ll miss him.

Dese Gershon – Ganaden Picture Library (26/02/2010 12:29:10)
Just simply a very nice and kind person and I think this showed in his style of photography. May his dear soul rest in peace.

Wes Howard (15/03/2010 11:56:29)
Remember John as one of newspaper’s gentlemen