ONE of the best-known local journalists in Winchester has died aged 83.

John Docherty worked on the Hampshire Chronicle from 1976 to 2005, latterly as chief reporter.

The health of Mr Docherty, of Highcliffe Road, Highcliffe, started to decline and he returned home to his native Scotland during lockdown in 2020 and went into care.

He died in a nursing home in Stevenston, Ayrshire, after a long battle with dementia. His sister Catherine was with him at the end, on August 30.

Mr Docherty will be buried at St John the Evangelist, Barrhead, his childhood church, in the coming weeks.

After working in retail as a young man he found his dream job with the Barrhead News. Stints with Daily Record and Scottish Express led to a move to north east England, where he did five years or so between the Sunderland Echo and Newcastle Journal.

From 1969 to 1976 he moved to work in Dublin, at the Irish Press, before returning to England to join the Chronicle.

Beside his work, he wrote short stories, features, and pamphlets. He was an active member of St Peter’s church in Jewry Street, and a fluent German speaker.

He took part in am dram, and the Southern Minstrels, as a singer and dancer.

Mr Docherty always promoted the Arts, by publicity, participation and patronage, with endless trips to London for theatre, galleries or events.

During the 1980s he was heavily into charity work, with Crisis in London, and with Aid to Russian Christians. He even went on some of its convoy runs to St Petersburg.

Mr Docherty then became involved with a local group in Winchester who bought, and transported, tonnes of vitamins and food supplements to Eastern Europe before the end of the Cold War, to address infant mortality on the Soviet satellite states.

He is survived by three brothers and two sisters, together with an army of friends.