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Chief reporter who was also daily’s fishing expert dies aged 76

Ken BellA former chief reporter who covered the Dunblane massacre and was also a regional daily’s angling correspondent has died aged 76.

Tributes have been paid to Ken Bell, left, who worked for Dundee-based daily The Courier for 40 years.

Ken headed up the Courier’s Perth office for a number of years, working his way up to chief reporter after initially moving to work in the area in the 1960s.

Stories he covered during his time in the role included Perth suffering major floods, the G8 meeting at Gleneagles and the Dunblane shootings in 1996.

Ken, who retired from Courier publisher DC Thomson in 2008 after 48 years with the company, died on 18 July after a brief illness.

An obituary in The Courier recorded that he built his reputation as one of the country’s best known angling reporters – covering the Tay system and local fisheries for the newspaper along with angling magazines such as Trout and Salmon.

He was also long-time secretary of the Perth and District Angling Association and regularly travelled with the Scottish angling team to provide coverage in international competitions.

His work, which included reporting on the state of angling and fish stocks, was recognised in March 2007 when he was awarded with the Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay Conservation Award.

Born in Dundee to parents Robert, a Colour Sergeant with The Black Watch, and Dorothy, he joined DC Thomson at the age of 17.

He was initially as a sub-editor on The Weekly News, where his tasks included editing submissions from the WRI and providing horoscopes on the odd occasion.

He later moved to become a junior reporter in Dundee and later Kirkcaldy, where, according to The Courier, he “met the two loves of his life – fishing, and his wife, Pat, whom he married in 1968.”

He is survived by Pat and his daughters Allison and Jen, his sister Anne in New Zealand, and Allison’s fiancé Peter. His funeral took place at Perth Crematorium on Friday.