Brian Batchelor, once described by the Daily Echo as ‘the most versatile singer in the South’, has died at the age of 87.

Brian, a resident of Totton, was the lead singer of The Ron Newby Sound formerly The Ron Newby Combo, a popular Southampton group during the Sixties and Seventies. Over his 25 years as a professional singer, he built up a large following who enjoyed his regular gigs at the Montagu Arms, Careys Manor and Skyways Hotel.

The facts of a life don't tell you about the person. As his son-in-law I was privileged to experience his warm and wonderful personality at close hand. He was a caring, loving father and husband. He was interested in people and made everyone he met feel special, which was what made him special. And he had a sweet tenor voice with a country lilt that soared and swooped and lifted the heart.

He grew up in Southampton which included experiencing the Second World War Blitz. He never forgot the evening he and his parents came home from the cinema to find their family home completely destroyed by a German bomb.

In 1952, Brian married Pamela Fagan. While working in the evenings as a professional singer, he was also employed as a marine engineer at Vosper Thorneycroft. He was proud to have worked in Southampton Docks on the repair and maintenance of many great ocean liners including The Queen Mary.

Brian Batchelor is survived by his wife, their three daughters Wendy, Lynda and Julia and eight grandchildren.