Former Big Issue writer killed in motorway accident
A former Big Issue writer was killed in a tragic accident on the M48 motorway yesterday morning (August 6).
James McLaren, 34, who worked with The Big Issue as a writer and designer from 1999 to 2001, is believed to have been hit by a lorry as he stood by his car on the eastbound road, between Magor and Chepstow, at around 10.20am yesterday.
A music journalist for 15 years, James, who lived in Cardiff, had worked for BBC Wales’ music website since 2006.
Alex Hinds, managing director of The Big Issue Cymru, paid tribute to James. He said: “James was a very well liked character who brought enthusiasm and energy into the organisation and his work. He will be remembered fondly by those that had the fortune to work with him here, and will be sorely missed.”
Matthew Bates, advertising executive with the company, joined The Big Issue Cymru at the same time as James, and said that although James had started out in design, writing about music for the magazine was always his ambition.
“One thing he never lacked was confidence and self-belief, and it was these traits that turned him into a decent designer, and meant he got to write for the magazine, which is what he wanted to do all along,” he said.
“James loved music, and particularly a Welsh band called Manchild – he somehow managed to devote a whole issue of TBIC in 2000 to reviewing their album Untied States.
“Editorial soon became his personal fiefdom, where budding journos and musicians would pay homage, and hopefully they too could have a magazine devoted to their wailings and musings.
“Our thoughts are with his family as this difficult time.”
Police are investigating yesterday’s collision, and have requested anyone with information to contact Gwent Police Investigation Unit on 01633 642404.