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Former editor at two regional dailies dies aged 78

A former editor at two regional dailies who spent time as deputy editor at a national newspaper during his career has died at the age of 78.

Brian Jones started his journalism career as a cub reporter on the Isle of Man and ended up as editor of the Bristol Evening Post for five years until his retirement in 1988.

During his career, he also worked as northern editor on The Guardian then became the paper’s deputy editor on Fleet Street, before taking on the editorship of the Bath Chronicle, then a daily title.

Brian had also worked as a press officer for South West Electricity before returning to newspapers as Evening Post editor.

Retired journalist John Hudson, who worked on the Post’s sister title the Western Daily Press, said: “He was a newspaper production man through and through, and was unhappy in his role as spokesman for South West Electricity.

“He was certainly a stand-out candidate for the post of editor of the Evening Post when Eric Price retired.”

After retiring from the Post, Brian achieved his dream of opening and running a book shop in his home town of Wirksworth, in the Peak District, while also carrying out journalism training to budding reporters overseas.

Son Matthew said: “He had always loved going around the secondhand bookshops in Bath and Bristol when he was there. He was determined to spend his retirement doing the one thing he had always wanted to do – run a second-hand bookshop.

“But he also did a lot of work with a charitable foundation run by his old paper, The Guardian, during which he had the role of teaching journalism skills to reporters in the former Eastern Bloc countries, who had only ever known how to write what they were told to write.

“He had a number of trips to Romania and the Czech Republic to run these courses, and he found it fascinating.”

Brian, who was a keen rugby and cricket fan, had a book about the history of Bath Rugby published in 1993 called The Ace of Clubs.

Ten years later, he wrote a an account of writer George Eliot’s links with his adopted home town of Wirksworth, Beyond The Copper Beech.

Father-of-four Brian died as a result of a progressive neurological condition.  His funeral will take place this week in Wirksworth.

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  • October 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I was saddened by the news of Brian Jones’s death. I worked with him at the Lancashire Evening Post and, later, as his deputy at the
    Bath Evening Chronicle. He was a wonderful colleague — a highly talented journalist and a warm-hearted, witty companion. R.I.P.

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