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Tributes / Photographer and amateur astronomer will be sorely missed

TRIBUTES have been paid to local photographer, astronomy enthusiast and former NHS Shetland employee Chris Brown who died at the weekend aged just 66.

The late Chris Brown – ‘hardly ever seen without a camera’. Photo: private

With a background in paediatrics, having worked in the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital for many years, Chris and his wife Tricia moved to Shetland in 1994 when the post as physiological measurement technician in the Gilbert Bain Hospital became available.

During his 20-plus years in the post, he was responsible for performing ECGs, exercise stress and lung function tests. He also set up the echocardiography service for Shetland.

Chris was well liked for his easy-going manner and his passion for whatever he took an interest in, and in particular his camera work. In fact, outside of work, he was hardly ever seen without carrying at least one camera.

A keen amateur astronomer, he spent hours looking at the night sky to get that perfect shot of solar eclipses, blue moons and the occasional mirrie dancer.

He was the go-to contact for us in the local media for advice on ‘real’ stars and eclipses. Happy to share his knowledge and time whenever it mattered, Chris was a pleasure to work with and will be sorely missed.

He also had his own regular Stargazing feature in the Shetland Times.

Chris’ other big passion was music and taking photos of concerts. Many musicians will remember his generosity in often letting them have their photos for free.

Over the years he has taken hundreds of photos for Shetland News covering the full range from Heavy Metal Buffet to the Shetland Folk Festival and the Christmas carol concert.

But most of all Chris loved hard rock, something he had in common with his friend Dave Kok of local band Ten Tonne Dozer.

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Chris during a visit to Edinburgh as part of the 2012 Lerwick Up Helly Aa jarl squad. Photo: private

“It’s hard to sum him up in a sentence, he was awesome; it’s a big loss,” he said.

Speaking from his ‘Outpost’ in Burra, Kok added: “I don’t think there is anyone who has a bad word to say about him, he was just so passionate about whatever he took an interest in.”

The last time he was able to take on a commission from Shetland News was during the Lerwick Up Helly Aa in January this year.

Together with his friend and former work colleague Peter Parker he covered the morning and evening events of the 2023 fire festival.

A short time thereafter he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) and, sadly, his condition deteriorated quickly.

Chris died in the Gilbert Bain Hospital on Saturday with his family by the bedside. He is survived by his wife Tricia.

The funeral will be held on Saturday 2 December from 11am at St Magnus Church in Lerwick to the place of interment in Tingwall churchyard.

A selection of photos Chris has taken for Shetland News over the years:

Lunar eclipse 21 January 2019.
2014 Heavy Metal Buffet.
Eddi Reader at Mareel in 2015.
SMUHA 2016.
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