LONG serving former editor of Fish Farmer and industry pioneer, Stuart Banks, has died, aged 82, after a short illness. Banks was editor and publisher of the magazine from 1985 to 2003, when it was sold to Scottish Farmer.
With his wife, Rosemary, as advertisement manager, he established the reputation of the title over 18 years, introducing innovations such as the International File.
‘We made many good friends in the industry,’ said Rosemary. ‘I am sure many of your readers will remember him and his attention to detail, accuracy, and as a great supporter of the fish farming industry, in Scotland, the rest of the UK, Europe and worldwide.
‘Stuart had, of course, been editing Fish Farmer from the 1970s when it was part of the International Publishing Corporation.
‘He had the foresight to realise the potential of the fish farming industry and, given the chance, bought the magazine from the group and we set out alone.
‘With luck and hard work we increased circulation and travelled the world with the magazine.’
In a varied career, Banks edited other titles, including British Baker, where he was so inspired by all the icing he saw at exhibitions, he taught himself how to do intricate run-out lace collars for cakes, said Rosemary.
He became a very talented cake decorator and made more than 100 flowers in icing sugar for his daughter’s wedding cake.
He enjoyed fishing, writing poetry, and wrote and had published (by Ward Lock in 1979) a book called The Complete Handbook of Poultry Keeping, completed while he was editor of Poultry Industry as well as Fish Farmer.
After retirement, Stuart and Rosemary both enjoyed reading for an Open University degree in Humanities, spent time travelling to China and Egypt, and enjoyed several cruises around the Mediterranean, Baltic and Black Sea, as well as visiting family and friends at home and abroad.
‘Stuart and I celebrated our 56th wedding anniversary, with our family, just four days prior to his death- when we drank champagne together,’ said Rosemary.
‘He was a quiet man of many talents. His interests were eclectic and he was interested and fascinated by nature and astronomy.
‘He was also a good photographer and developed his own film and made short family cine films. He was an avid reader and, before Google, he was my ‘oracle’! I shall miss him so much.’
Banks also leaves behind his daughter, Linda, who worked on Fish Farmer as assistant editor, son Peter, and five grandchildren.
Stuart Banks, born May 12, 1936, died March 20, 2019.
“He had the foresight to realise the potential industry” of the fish farming
Left: Stuart celebrating his 80th birthday
Above: Stuart Banks, a great supporter of the industry