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Former regional press farming reporter dies aged 83

A journalist who started his career on regional newspapers has died at the age of 83.

Alan Barker, from Stamford Bridge, started his career on the Goole Times and then moved first to the Northern Echo and then the Yorkshire Gazette before being head-hunted for Farmers Weekly in 1956.

He reported on farming in the North East for several decades and covered the Great Yorkshire Show for half a century.

He started reporting on the show in 1949, when it took place at Malton prior to its move to the permanent showground at Harrogate.

When he retired in 1999, he was presented with a silver salver, hip flask, framed caricature, inscribed tankard and malt whisky by show organisers as tokens of their esteem.

At the time he said the show had become part of his life because he had spent so many hours there, adding: “It’s emotional to stop, but there comes a time when you say enough is enough.”

Alan was also well-known in cricketing circles in the York area and was a life member Osbaldwick Cricket Club.

His name went in a hall of fame created by the York and District Senior League to recognise the outstanding performances of top players of the past 50 years.

He was said to be one of four bowlers who had taken eight or more wickets in an innings on seven occasions, and twice took nine wickets in an innings.

Alan, a widower who was married to Jean, leaves a daughter, Kate.