FORMER Weekly News reporter Peter Andrews has died aged 85.

Mr Andrews, who was a familiar face in Chelmsford throughout the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties reporting on the courts and council, died at his home in Danbury last week after a long illness.

He was known for his love of the arts and was a former arts editor of this newspaper, writing reviews well into the Nineties Over almost 40 years, Mr Andrews wrote countless reviews of plays and concerts.

He was a tireless supporter of the arts, seeing the birth of the Civic Theatre and of Chelmsford Cathedral Festival, and making sure that the Weekly News flew the flag for the cultural scene in Chelmsford and beyond.

The poetry competition and the Man of Arts awards scheme were just two of his initiatives.

Following the death of his wife Gwen, he withdrew from public life, leaving the local arts scene.

Mr Andrews inherited his love of the arts from his mum, Kathleen, a formidable actress of the old school, and they were both active members of Little Baddow Drama for many years.

He attributed his encyclopaedic knowledge of music in part to his early years working in Dace’s record shop, then in New London Road, Chelmsford.

He was also an enthusiastic and sensitive theatre director.

The funeral of Mr Andrews’ was due to take place today (Wednesday, May 14) at Chelmsford crematorium.