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January 17, 2014

Hundreds mourn at funeral of former Harrow Times editor, Charlie Harris

By Emma McGarthy

The funeral of Charlie Harris saw hundreds of colleagues, friends and family mourn the well-respected former editor of the Harrow Times.

Held in St Mathews Church, Northwood, north London, the Watford Observer reported that 200 attended to commemorate Harris, who died of liver and bowl cancer on 4 January.

With more than 40 years in the industry Harris worked in local newspapers in London, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

According to the Watford Observer Harris joined Times publishers Newsquest in 1989 and was the founding editor of the Harrow Times in 1997.

Friend and past president of the chartered institute for journalists Robin Morgan said: “Charlie used to say, thank God I was not called William Charles. I would have hated being known as WC all my life.

“Early photos I have seen of Charlie show a cherubic little lad, the apple of his mother’s eye, scrubbed up in his whitsun whites ready for a church festival. A picture of innocence.”

He continued: “He didn’t always get it right. When he took charge of the Borehamwood Times, he asked staff what ideas they had for a front page.

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“Spotting a rape story buried on an inside page, he enthusiastically proposed splashing on it – until someone pointed out it was an oil seed rape crop report.”

He described Harris as having: “Good humour, expert knowledge and a ready source of friendly encouragement and guidance.”

Following the funeral friend Balbir Kaur-Sunners told the Watford Observer: “Charlie was my rock. A true gentleman, a true friend. We had the greatest friendship.

“I have never come across someone so genuine, so funny, who made everyone laugh. I will miss him every day.”

Harris was also president of the Chartered Institute of Journalists. 

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