AN AWARD winning journalist who spent more than two decades working at The News has passed away.
Alan Montgomery died at the age of 88 with his wife, Rose, and two children by his side.
A tribute from his family stated: ‘He has finally laid down his pen and closed his mind of endless curiosity.’
Born in Hove, West Sussex on October 5, 1930, Alan started his career with the Brighton Evening Argus before honing his skills with the London Evening Standard, Manchester Evening Chronicle and Bournemouth Echo. After working for the BBC in both radio and television, Alan returned to his first love, the written press, after taking up the position of property correspondent with The News in 1969.
His family said: ‘Alan always felt the written word carried greater weight.’
It was a perfect fit for Alan who had a passionate interest in property. He was the first journalist in the UK to win the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Property Writing Award three consecutive years and had the honour of naming two local developments – Maple Down at Petersfield and Anchorage Court at Lee-on-the-Solent.
After moving to Portchester, where he lived for almost half a century, Alan developed a love for the county. Described as ‘bringing nostalgia to The News’, he wrote an award winning series of feature articles on the New Forest which saw him recognised with the accolade Hampshire Journalist of the Year. He also wrote two books – My Goodness! My Portchester! and Tom Tom the Farmer’s Son, set in the Meon Valley.
Alan became renowned for his meticulous research and would often preach the mantra ‘when in doubt, find out’.
After retiring in 1992, Alan devoted his time to reading, the theatre and dog walking. Even in the twilight of his life Alan’s thirst for learning saw him take up the piano at the ripe old age of 85. Alan spent his final years living on the Portsdown Hill slopes of Portchester where his passion for his adopted home remained firm. He would often be seen walking the family dog and was regularly overheard saying ‘you couldn’t get a better view anywhere in the world’.