15th November 2020

Obituary: Lionel Black

Lionel Black was a forward-thinking TSO who left his mark in his native North East.


By Gerald Dutton
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Lionel Black, late of Tynemouth, died suddenly at home on August 20, 2020, aged 88 years. He was the beloved husband of the late Audrey, the much-loved dad of Steven and Ian, a loving father-in-law of Jill and Hazel, and the devoted grandad of William, Grace and Christopher.

Lionel did his National service in the RAF at Eindhoven.

He started with Gateshead Urban District Council in the Surveyors Department, then went on to be a Trainee Weights and Measures Inspector. He had a nearly career-long partnership with Les Hounsome, a close friend and colleague who saw him qualify in Gateshead and reach Deputy Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures before the creation of Tyne and Wear County Council in 1974, where he became Area Inspector for Gateshead then Sunderland Offices.

In the late 60s and early 70s Lionel was perceived as a very progressive Inspector, embracing the then-developing Consumer Advice and Product Safety ahead of his peers. As a colleague he was supportive and well-liked by his staff and colleagues and throughout had a wicked sense of humour. He served as Branch Secretary of the then-Northern Branch.

Lionel was a man who could talk to anyone at their level: consumers about their problems, carters collecting around the streets, through the spectrum of traders to Managing Directors of companies about complex legal matters, often in the same morning.

Upon retirement in Tynemouth he became a Magistrate, was a Rotarian and lifelong supporter of RNLI and Cancer Research.

He is remembered fondly by others in his local, the Tynemouth Grand Hotel, as being a total gentleman, and was well liked by Branch Members who were able on occasions to socialise with him up until the year before he died.

We offer our sincere condolences to his remaining family.

The celebration of Lionel’s life was held at Tynemouth Crematorium on September 4.