Death of ex-Post & Mail journalist

Former Midlands journalist John Cranage has passed away aged 68 after suffering a stroke.

John had more than 40 years’ experience in regional newspapers including the Post & Mail and Express & Star groups.

Widely respected, his passing has seen tributes paid by many former colleagues.

Born and bred in Walsall, he began his career on the Walsall Observer.

A spell followed on the Evening Post in Reading before he returned north to join the Express & Star in 1976 as a news reporter including at the Walsall and Lichfield offices.

Later he moved to the Evening Mail as it then was, operating from the Dudley office for many years before switching to the business desk in Birmingham.

He went freelance for a while contributing regularly to the Post’s business supplements and writing for a wide range of publications, including magazines such as the Investors Chronicle and company and industry newsletters.

From there he rejoined the Post & Mail, spending ten years as a business, finance and economics correspondent with the Birmingham Post.

While on the Post he engaged in day-to- day, in-depth, reporting of a wide range of sectors, with an emphasis on corporate and personal finance issues as well as the automotive industry.

John, who in his youth was a good standard water polo player, retired to Lichfield where he went into book writing, as much for his own personal satisfaction as none were ever published.

Media colleague Ian Strachan, friends with John from Express & Star days, said: “He was a journalist of the old school and understood the value of contacts.

“He had a healthy cynicism for the world around him and an opinion on just about everything which he was never afraid to express. A lunchtime or evening in his company was never dull.”

Former Birmingham Post business editor John Duckers, who worked closely with John, said: “His copy was always diligent, reliable and comprehensive. You could throw anything at him and he would produce.

“He worked on many notable stories in his time, an all-rounder. Be it car accidents, murders, business appointments or the demise of Rover and LDV, big and small nothing fazed him.

“John was a lovely guy and will be sadly missed.”

Paying tribute, Press Club director and Birmingham Post and Mail editor-in-chief Marc Reeves said: “John had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the automotive and wider manufacturing industry in the city. He could always be relied upon to put a story into its historical perspective.”

He lived alone and never married, being survived by his sister, Jane Wainwright.

The funeral will be at Streetly Crematorium on December 9 at 10.00am.