JIM Turnbull, whose cartoons appeared in The Herald for almost 30 years, has died at the age of 74.

For him, Scotland was like a lion in a cage with an open door. He used the image as a recurring motif, and in his hands it was usually far from rampant. The big lion admitting it was "feart" came to symbolise the referendum result in 1979 when the number in favour failed to reach the 40-per cent threshold.

The-then editor of this newspaper was Alan Jenkins, who said: "When you mention Jim Turnbull, that image of the lion is what springs to mind. As an artist he had a great line. Allied to that he was a thinking cartoonist with his own ideas. Not all cartoonists have that."

George Reid, the presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, was a journalist who turned to politics at that time, becoming an SNP MP. He said of Turnbull: "He was the great chronicler of his age and came up with the perfect image for that time in the scabrous lion refusing to come out of its cage.

"He caught the mood of the people of Scotland in the 1970s and to that extent he was unique."

The son of a railway worker, James Turnbull was born in Maryhill, Glasgow. The family moved south of the Clyde to Pollokshields where he attended Albert Road school. He trained as a lithographic artist before his national service, which included a spell in Suez.

His first foray into publishing came when he was employed as a freelance by DC Thomson doing the Pinky and Perky and Freddy Frog cartoons for Playhour comic.

He started his career as a daily newspaper caricaturist with the Daily Record and, in the early 1970s, joined the-then Glasgow Herald. More recently, he provided the illustrations for Charlie Allan's farmer's diary.

He spent much of his spare time at Clarkston Rugby Club, where he enthusiastically supported a team which has now become Glasgow Hutchesons' Aloysius. He enjoyed nothing more than going to the club for lunch on a Saturday and chatting to his friends about rugby.

Although fiercely proud of his Scottish heritage, Jim loved travelling to Italy and painted some of his best work there.

His wife, Moira, died in 1977 but he is survived by his children Pamela, Keith, and two grandchildren, Amy and Sara.