A REGULAR Chronicle cartoonist is finally retiring after more than 60 years of work.

Barrie Hawkins, 86, has been making the people of Barnsley laugh since his first tongue-in-cheek illustration was published in the Chronicle back in 1959.

As a child he loved to doodle, but the inspiration to create cartoons hit him one average afternoon.

“I was listening to the commentary of a boxing match,” he said.

“It was on the radio as we didn’t have TVs back then.

“They described the boxer as having a long left arm and so I imagined this man with a really short right arm and a long left one.

“Then they said he telegraphed a punch, so again I thought of them both in the ring with a big telegraph pole between them.

“I scribbled down some ideas and sent them to Weekly News in Scotland, since I knew they took lots of cartoons.

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“They accepted them but re-drew it - it’s a slow process, starting and evolving your style.”

Over the years he saw more and more success, including illustrating the book Tales From a Yorkshire Grandad, and running a weekly cartoon in the Chronicle during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Now though, the cartoonist - who describes himself as ‘a bit long in the tooth’ - is having to retire from his lifelong hobby.

“I’m annoyed I have to give it up,” he added.

“At my age your fingers start failing you - there’s nothing more frustrating than when you’re two-thirds through a drawing and your fingers lock up.

“So as much as I’d like to carry it on, Mother Nature has other plans.”