Yesterday it was announced that the much-loved local journalist, Kevin Black, died on New Year’s Eve in hospital, after a second bout of the cancer he fought off a few years ago. We are really shocked and saddened to hear about Kevin’s passing and our thoughts and love go out to his family and friends.
A kind and generous man, who was true to himself, never minced his words, had a wicked sense of humour and loved his music, Kevin lived in Lingfield, but was originally from Scotland, making his long-standing dedication to the soft southerners of Surrey even more poignant.
He was a great advocate of local individuals, organisations, businesses and charities (including his personal support for MacMillan Cancer Support), and was an enthusiastic reporter, photographer and documenter of everything that went on in the Tandridge area.
A journalist since 1969, Kevin started his career in Scotland, before working for the iconic music publication, the Melody Maker and the Hendon & Finchley Times in London before a stint with the Oman Daily Observer in Muscat. He was editor of the County Border News for 30 years and freelance news reporter for BBC Radio Surrey for 10 years.
An old school hack, Kevin embraced the digital world, emojis and Facebook stickers (of which he was very fond!) with gusto and left the County Border News last year to set his own online local news service, the Oxted District Gazette.
When I started the Limpsfield website and facebook page he was very supportive and shared many stories with me, acting as admin on the Facebook page. I saw him last at the Oxted School Remembrance Service in November and he’d just had a round of scans, but was as determined as ever to beat it.
However, this time, the cancer had spread to his lungs, liver and kidney and it was just too much for even the mighty Kevin to vanquish. It is particularly sad, given he was really enjoying his new online enterprise and seemed to be in a very happy place.
I’m sure there are thousands of people in the area who are grateful to Kevin for all the support he gave them over the years, so we will remember his kindness, warmth and humour and bid a fond farewell to this truly inspirational man.
RIP Kevin Black. Will we miss you.