The Courier’s former fishing expert has died at the age of 76.
Ken Bell headed the Perth office for a number of years, working his way up to chief reporter after initially moving to work in the area in the 60s.
In the 40 years that followed, he reported on a variety of stories, from local news to major national and international stories – Perth suffering major floods, the G8 meeting at Gleneagles and the Dunblane massacre.
Alongside this he built his reputation as one of the country’s best known angling reporters – covering the Tay system and local fisheries for both The Courier and a number of specialist angling magazines including Trout and Salmon.
His phone calls to gather the information required for his columns each week became legendary.
He was also long time secretary of the Perth and District Angling Association – no mean feat in the pre-internet days, trying to keep track of paper angling returns from 500 members. He was also a member of a number of other angling clubs and travelled with the Scottish angling team to provide coverage in international competitions.
His work, which included reporting not only on catches but also on the state of angling and fish stocks and trying to bring the results of research to the anglers, was recognised in March 2007 when he was awarded with the Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay Conservation Award.
He retired from DC Thomson in 2008 after 48 years with the company.
Born Robert Kenneth Bell in Dundee in March 1943, he was raised by parents Robert Bell, a Colour Sergeant with the Black Watch and accountant with Wallace’s bakery after the war, and his wife Dorothy.
Educated at the city’s Morgan Academy, he joined DC Thomson at the age of 17 in 1960, initially as a sub-editor on the Weekly News. There his tasks included editing submission from the WRI and providing horoscopes on the odd occasion they were not submitted on time.
He later moved to become a junior reporter, initially in Dundee before moving to Kirkcaldy, where he met the two loves of his life – fishing, and his wife, Pat, whom he married in 1968.
Ken passed away on July 18, after a brief illness. He is survived by Pat and his daughters Allison and Jen, his sister Anne in New Zealand, and Allison’s fiancé Peter.
His funeral will take place at Perth crematorium today.