Tributes to former Mail business writer John - 'a journalist of the old school'.
Byline: TAMLYN JONES Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org @Tamlynpost
TRIBUTES have been paid to former Birmingham Mail business journalist John Cranage, who has died at the age of 68 after suffering a stroke.
John had more than 40 years of experience in regional newspapers including the Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post and Express & Star. His in-depth knowledge of the region's automotive and manufacturing sectors was second to none. Born and bred in Walsall, John began his career on the Walsall Observer, followed by a spell in the south-east working for the Evening Post in Reading.
He then returned to his native region to join the Express & Star in 1976 as a news reporter, including stints at the Walsall and Lichfield district offices, before moving to the Birmingham Mail to cover the Dudley patch, where he spent many years.
John later decided to specialise in business journalism and moved to the main Birmingham office, where he was first industrial correspondent, then business editor for the Birmingham Mail. After a subsequent spell of freelancing, he rejoined the Birmingham titles to spend ten years covering the city's business community, in corporate and personal finance and the automotive industry in particular.
Mr Cranage, who in his youth was a fine water polo player, retired to Lichfield where he concentrated on writing books, although none were ever published.
Birmingham Post & Mail acting executive editor Graeme Brown, said: "John was a fine journalist and a beautiful writer. He showed a verve for producing often quite technical pieces in a way which engaged his audience. He was also a lovely person to work with - a strident but friendly man who knew his own mind and had an infectious passion for things that really mattered to him, like the written word. He will be sorely missed."
Birmingham Post & Mail editorin-chief Marc Reeves added: "He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the automotive and wider manufacturing industry in the city and could always be relied upon to put a story into its historical perspective."
Former colleague Ian Strachan, who started work on the Express & Star on the same day as John, 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."
John is survived by his sister Jane Wainwright. His funeral will be at Streetly Crematorium, near Walsall, on December 9 at 10am.
Former Birmingham Mail business journalist John Cranage