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Motoring editor who went on to work for homeless dies aged 71

Graham HartA weekly newspaper motoring editor who went on to work for a homeless shelter after leaving journalism has died aged 71.

Tributes have been paid to Graham Hart, who spent many years working for the Stourbridge News as both a sub-editor and motoring writer.

Graham, pictured, left the News Group in 2006, and worked for a homeless shelter in Birmingham for the last five years of working life before retiring.

Retired News Group editor Jeff Jephcott, who worked with Graham for more than 10 years, described him as a “newspaper man through and through”.

He told the News: “Like me, he was from another age in journalism when you hunted out stories from speaking to contacts, working meetings, and even social occasions, for news.

“Graham was hardworking and would be the first to work a weekend shift to put a paper to bed.

“He was also very generous with his time out of work. He was one of those people who would put himself before others. He proved himself to be a very devoted family man – looking after his mom, moving her from Scotland to live with him in her old age.

“I will remember him for what he was – a down-to-earth bloke, with great news sense, and who liked to have a good time. Cheers Graham.”

Graham became interested in journalism after getting a job at the Birmingham Post and Mail as a librarian which he applied for after initially joining the civil service to train as a factory inspector.

After training as a journalist, he worked on a host of papers including titles in Banbury, London and Evesham, as well as stints as a freelance sub-editor on the nationals.

Former News reporter Jo Messinger said: “Graham was indeed a character and he was so welcoming and supportive when I started as a junior reporter.

“He passed on loads of scoops for me that he’d pick up on his travels around the patch and pubs. I will always appreciate that.”

Former News chief reporter Scott Faulkner described him as a “great local paper character” and Mark Salter, who worked with Graham in the early 1990s, said he was “very sad to hear of his passing”.

Graham was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease five years ago but, according to his sister Sandra Trickett, had been “doing quite well” after quitting cigarettes overnight.

Away from journalism he was a lay minister and was involved with the Labour Party and Halesowen’s Welcome group – helping to provide support for asylum seekers and refugees.

He died on 12 January a day after being admitted to hospital in Dudley.

Graham is also survived by niece Anne Woodward, and great-nieces Jessica and Emily.

His funeral will be held at St Margaret’s Church, Halesowen, at midday on Wednesday 12 February and will be followed by a service at Stourbridge Crematorium at 1.30pm.


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  • February 3, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Graham was a dedicated to his job and a lovely man, only pumped into him over Christmas and we had a long chat about old times. He will be sadly missed.

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  • February 3, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    I did some work experience there while at University, that ended up being a 2 year placement, and Graham was a lovely man, my best wishes to his family.

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