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Editor who ran weekly for 30 years dies months after retirement

Kevin Black 1An editor who retired from a weekly newspaper last year after three decades in charge has died after a long cancer battle.

Tributes have been paid to Kevin Black, who ran the County Border News, which covers parts of East Surrey and West Kent, for more than 30 years.

Kevin, pictured, left the News in the summer of 2018 and set up his own local news website called the Oxted & District Gazette at the age of 67.

However, he revealed last month that he was suffering from lung, kidney and liver cancer – four-and-a-half years after getting the all clear from doctors.   He died in hospital on New Year’s Eve.

Sigrid Sherrell, a colleague of Kevin’s at Tindle News for more than 20 years, described him in the County Border News as a “real character” who was “well respected” for his commitment to covering local events.

Kevin was a regular contributor to BBC Radio Surrey, and station presenter Mark Carter posted on Twitter: “Shocked to hear of the passing of journalist Kevin Black, a huge supporter of BBC Surrey over the years and one of the most hardworking journalists I’ve come across.”

Kevin began his career in 1967 on the Strathearn Herald, based in his hometown of Crieff, Perthshire.

He worked on a variety of newspapers in Scotland and England, including the Peterborough Evening Telegraph and the Hendon & Finchley Times, and also worked overseas as a reporter on the Cyprus Mail and the Oman Daily Observer.

A lifelong writer about the arts, Kevin spent two years on the rock newspaper the Melody Maker and edited the former monthly music magazine, Music UK.

He joined County Border News in 1987 and during his editorship won awards for community style journalism.

In recent years he also hosted a weekly podcast called blackonblues.com which specialises in blues music and which has 3,000 listeners, mainly in America.

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