Obituary: Ian Porteous, photographer, 84

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Evening News photographer who has died at the age of 84.

Ian Porteous joined in 1961 and spent 25 years working for both the Evening News and the Scotsman until he retired in 1986.

He was born in Dumfries in 1928 to Agnus Kerr and John Porteous, a sculptor and stonemason who was responsible for many war memorials and statues in the area.

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Always keen on pictures and aircraft, Ian left school at 17 and joined the RAF as a photographer.

His time in the service led to stints in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, where he acquired a taste for exotic cuisine.

His wife Betty, 79, said: “He loved the life out there. When he came home he wanted all these exotic things. I had to quickly learn how to be a cordon bleu cook.”

Ian left the RAF and started a career as a newspaper photographer in 1950 at the Dumfries and Galloway Standard.

He married Betty in 1957 and they went on to have two children, Donald and Linzi.

Donald died in an accident when he was 29.

Ian worked his way up the ranks at the Standard to become chief photographer before leaving to join the Scotsman Publications in 1961.

Betty said he loved his time working for the group and one of the highlights was when he won the 14th annual Edinburgh Press Club photographic competition in 1972.

She said: “I think he got it for best action picture. He had been sent out to do a big exercise in Canada for the Scotsman. He’d climbed a mountain and took a photo of the soldiers that were all strung down the side of it. It was a great photograph and he was proud of it.

“He loved being a photographer and meeting people. He was a lovely man and everybody loved Ian. He was an intelligent man who loved his job and carried himself very well.”

When Ian retired, the couple moved to Spain, where they enjoyed spending time in their villa and joined a walking club.

Betty said Ian “lived for the sun” but they would regularly return to Scotland during holidays to visit friends and family.

His health began to deteriorate several years ago and they returned home, where she eventually became his carer.

Betty said he loved country and folk music, including Cat Stevens and John Denver, and enjoyed taking part in a ceilidh.

She said: “He loved to don a kilt and do Scottish country dancing. He was a beautiful dancer. He was a wonderful man.

“Ian was an ill man for years but he never lost his spirit.”

His funeral was held on February 20 at Roucan Loch Crematorium near Dumfries. He is survived by Betty, Linzi, grandson Jules and grand-daughter Tilly.