Farewell to Jim Barnard

London Newspaper Group — CN/WPN 30-01-1981

Farewell Jim!

By Christopher Long

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Present and past colleagues of Mr James (Jim) Barnard, who for 32 years has very conscientiously edited the Chelsea News and Westminster and Pimlico News will be bidding him farewell this evening (Friday) at Newspaper House, Winslow Road. He is retiring.

Mr Barnard joined the newspapers as a junior reporter in 1934 when the offices were at North End Road, Fulham. He was appointed Editor in 1949 while at the 123a Kings Road, Chelsea, office.

Mr Barnard has a great love for Chelsea, where he was educated at Sloane School, and particularly encouraged the colony of artists.

Award-winning journalist and author JAMES CAMERON described him as 'a lovely man' and remembers his kindness writing to him in hospital. He remembers too when he wrote a front page article for Jim under the sad headline Goodbye to the News Chronicle.

Poet Laureate JOHN BETJEMAN said that Chelsea would not have been anything without Jim Barnard. "He is a most wonderful man", added Sir John.

NICHOLAS SCOTT, MP for Chelsea, said "Jim Barnard joined the Chelsea News before I celebrated my first birthday and has since lavished his love of Chelsea on the readers of the Chelsea News in his role as reporter and, since 1949, as Editor. The problems of local journalism in inner London are well known and I think we have been immensely fortunate to have the Chelsea News as a genuine local newspaper reflecting aspects of our local life and keeping us up to date with the personalities and events in our very special village. I know I speak for everyone in expressing our deep gratitude to Jim for his years of inspired service and our very best wishes to Jim and his wife Maggie for a very happy retirement and, finally, express the wish that his name will still occasionally appear in the paper which for so long has carried his personal imprint."

LADY WYNNE JONES, Secretary of the Friends of Chelsea, said "Jim Barnard has been the best friend Chelsea ever had. The paper has been very special under his editorship and we all owe him a great deal. We shall miss him."

LADY (JANE) BARRAN, a member of the Friends' executive committee, added "Under Jim Barnard's editorship the Chelsea News was a paper full of care." She felt that the 'News' was perhaps unique in this respect.

MRS LESLEY LEWIS, Chairman of the Chelsea Society, said "During my long association with the Chelsea Society we have had a continuing relationship with the News and we realise what great services Mr Barnard has rendered to the Society. On behalf of us all I can say that we shall miss him and that we wish him every happiness in the future."

IAN BURGOYNE, director of the Chelsea Centre in World's End, said "Jim has been a great friend and help to us over many years during my time and that of my predecessor Ernest Biggin. The thing about Jim is that he's always been a real Chelsean – a champion of Chelsea – and he has a love and a 'feeling' for the place. Chelsea has come to love him just as much."

JOHN SMITH, the chief information officer at the Town Hall, described Jim as a very respected local journalist who would be greatly missed.

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I owe Jim Barnard an enormous debt and have very fond memories of him. He was an excellent journalist who had grown up near World's End in Chelsea. He was immensely proud of his roots and his 'village' and inspired me to feel the same. Before I knew Jim, Chelsea had been my playground in the Sixties and Seventies. Thanks to him it became my village too.

Apart from a stint in Fleet Street, Jim Barnard spent most of his working life on the Chelsea News (and the Westminster & Pimlico News) as a reporter and then as its editor. His one regret was, I think, that in his final years on the paper, his office moved to Winslow Road in Hammersmith and so further from his haunts and friends in Chelsea itself.

Modest and retiring by nature, he generously helped many excellent journalists on their way to success and when, later, I too became an editor I was soon aware of how much I had unconsciously learned from him and how very much more I ought to have learned while I had the chance. Jim was rigourous where journalism was concerned and a kind and patient man to those of us fortunate enough to work with him – C.A.L.

© (1981) Christopher Long. Copyright, Syndication & All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
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Christopher Long

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