Obituary: Newsman was active in launch of publications

Eric Blott

Eric Blott

First published in News

A FORMER Oxford Mail reporter and National Union of Journalists (NUJ) deputy general secretary has died aged 85.

Eric Blott, who worked as a reporter in Oxfordshire in the late 1950s and early 1960s, helped launch the Wallingford Herald in 1961, a spin-off from the North Berks Herald.

The paper previously only had a single Wallingford page and launched the Herald in reaction to its popularity. It was followed in 1963 with the absorbtion of the Wallingford News.

After leaving the Herald, Mr Blott followed a career in the NUJ, becoming its northern organiser, covering an area from Birmingham to the Shetlands, later becoming national organiser and finally deputy general secretary.

After leaving the NUJ in the late 1970s, he became personnel manager for the Liverpool Post, before moving to take a similar position with TV Times in London. He also worked, part time with the Commonwealth Press Union Journal until retiring in 2002.

Eric Blott was born in Mitcham, Surrey, on June 27, 1928. He went to Biggleswade Secondary School and left at 14 to work at Wells & Winch Brewery, before joining a printing company in the town.

He originally worked with the accounts ledgers, but his knowledge of sport and current affairs earmarked him for the newsroom, becoming a reporter, first for the Biggleswade Chronicle, moving up to become sports editor, then deputy editor.

He married Doreen (nee Manley) in 1948. They went on to have three sons, Steve, 65, Tony, 60 and Tim 58. His wife predeceased him in 2008.

In the late 1950s he moved to the Oxford Mail, which had absorbed the North Berks Herald series, to become the district reporter for Wallingford.

His son, Tim, was to become editor-in-chief of the Oxford Mail and its associate titles, from 1994 to 1996. He is still a managing director within the paper’s parent company, Newsquest.

Related links

While working in Wallingford, Mr Blott lived in Cholsey, playing cricket for Wallingford Cricket Club.

In the early 1990s he and his wife moved to Great Gransden, Cambridgeshire. They were active members of the village and Mr Blott became parish council chairman and governor of a nearby school. He was also a member of the Gransdens Society, serving as its chairman and vice-chairman for a number of years.

Eric Blott died on Wednesday, June 11, following a suspected heart attack after a successful game of carpet bowls in the Great Gransden village hall.

He is survived by his three sons, and grandchildren Jason, Melanie and George.

A funeral will be held in Great Gransden Parish Church on Thursday, June 26.

Our top stories:

Cyclists warned: Don't be dimwits

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

BIKE safety campaigners have warned that cyclists are risking their lives, after an Oxford Mail survey found more than half of them were riding without lights.

Extra hour tonight! Celebrate with top bands at unique Oxford gig

Oxford Mail:

1:40pm Saturday 25th October 2014

With an extra hour to enjoy - or recover with - tonight is the perfect night to celebrate one of Oxford's biggest nights of music

FOOTBALL: Rose wants to keep Oxford United climbing

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

Danny Rose is targeting a move into mid-table today as Oxford United visit Carlisle United in search of a third win in eight days.

Shhh... silent film is a reel hit with movie buffs

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

FILM buffs were given a taste of how movies used to be watched as they turned out for a silent screening in Witney.

Update: Oxford University student Isobel Priest is found safe and well

Oxford Mail:

8:49am Saturday 25th October 2014

Police have said the 21-year-old Oxford University student who was reported missing has been found safe and well.

Runaway emu killed after crash with car

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:40am Saturday 25th October 2014

AN EMU escaped from a garden in Boar’s Hill and died after being hit by a car, Thames Valley Police said yesterday.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree