See you in the distance, my old friend

In fond memory of Mark Blackstock, creator of The YamYam, without whom this blog would have died in infancy.

Mark sadly died following a heart attack on Thursday, 3rd August 2017 at the age of 55. 

Mark, I owe you so very much. A friend in successful times, but also in the very dark, very small, very bleak hours. You were the thread that bound the Walsall online community together, though rarely visible within it.

The soul of discretion, the initiator of mischief.

I always thought I’d see you again. 

Walsall has lost an adopted son, this blog has lost a godparent.

Rest in peace you old bugger.

I know you lived like you fucking meant it. 

Somewhere, in the distance, we’ll have a pint again and bitch about professional PR, badly formatted RSS and the perils of being opinionated.

Goodbye old lad – you will always be here in my heart, in spirit.

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11 Responses to See you in the distance, my old friend

  1. Dan Slee says:

    I’m sad to hear this. I met Mark several times when he was in Walsall and I was at the Walsall Council press office. His idea of aggregating together all the news sites, blogs and platforms into one – The Yam Yam – was years ahead of its time. That it didn’t finish when he moved on showed two things. The strength of the idea and the strength of the connections his idea built.

  2. kevinjones21 says:

    A sad loss. He kindly guided me too when I was starting off.

  3. Terribly sad news, and so untimely. Mark was one of the good guys, a great supporter of local bloggers and beyond, and brilliant at what he did. Farewell old chap. RIP. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

  4. stymaster says:

    A huge loss. Never met Mark in person myself, but the The YamYam became such a part of the local online community that we know he left a huge legacy- it is (and by extension so was Mark) the glue binding together so many different local blogs, and introduced me to so many good people.

  5. Derek Bishton says:

    Mark Blackstock

    The funeral for Mark Blackstock, editor and founder of the YamYam who died on August 3, will be held at Sandwell Valley Crematorium, Newton Road, West Bromwich B71 3SX on Wednesday 20 September 2017 at 1.45pm.

    This will be followed by a reception at The Irish Centre, 14-20 High Street Deritend, Birmingham B12 0LN from 3pm – 11pm.
    No flowers please. Everyone welcome.

    If you have any photos or memories of Mark you would like to share, please email them to

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  7. John Dunlop says:

    I went to school with Mark from 5 to 18 years old in Dalriada school Ballymoney. He was a good friend and a good rugby fullback too. He was a very decent fellow and a good character to be around. From the picture it looks like the curly locks left some time ago.

  8. 1troy3 says:

    I was shocked and very saddened to hear of Mark’s passing when I met our former Daily Telegraph colleagues at a reunion. I still can’t process this. I retain a lasting memory of an infectious, unbridled laugh and a smile that lit up everyone around him. He was a calm producer, a very smart guy of many talents and a super-nice bloke. My condolences to his family and many friends. He once gave me some very good advice — and I can still hear his endearing accent in my head. Working on it Mark. Rest in peace fella.

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