Former Press Association journalist Lionel Barlow has celebrated his 100th birthday at home in Kent.
Barlow began his career as a journalist on a small, now defunct, paper in Hythe, Kent. He then joined the army during the war years and reached the rank of warrant officer after serving for four years in Iraq.
When he left the army he returned to work on the Folkestone Herald and then joined the Kentish Express where he worked for ten years.
He left them in 1960 to join Extel working as a reporter for them at the High Court. When that side of their operation came under the wing of Press Association he remained at the courts with the PA Law Service until he retired in 1982.
During his spare time he also wrote for racing magazines and local papers covering point to point meetings and motor cycle racing.
When he retired from PA he remained at the court providing a service on property cases for Estates Gazette. And finally he worked as a freelance, still at the courts, for courts agency UK Law News.
During his time at the courts he founded the High Court Journalists Association, and among other things masterminded their annual dinner which was one of the social highlights of the court calendar.
He also at one stage played a prominent role with the NUJ and was for years a member of their standing committee.
UK Law News chief Roger Pearson said : “I’ve known Lionel since I joined the PA in 1969 and he’s one of the very last of the old guard who were on the PA Law Service at the time.
“He’s one of the true characters from that era of journalism. They worked hard, drank hard and played hard.
“But Lionel’s line of contacts was second to none. If you wanted to know where something was going on at the courts, wanted an introduction to a judge or a barrister, Lionel was the man to go to. He knew everything and everybody.
“It’s wonderful to see that he’s reached such a magnificent age.”