Les spent more than 40 years in journalism and was at the helm of the Crow for eight years, between 2000 and 2008.
After losing his job in a cost-cutting operation by the paper’s publisher Archant, the staunch Labour supporter went on to serve on Royston Town Council.
Chris Lennon, who worked with Les at the Crow, said: “Les was the Royston Crow and, despite a 40-plus year career in journalism taking him to Fleet Street and back, being editor of the Crow was his dream job.
“He had an absolute passion for the localness of local newspapers and did everything he could to make the Crow a cornerstone of the Royston community.”
In 2000, Les offered Chris – a then-just-qualified senior sports reporter – the job of assistant editor on the newspaper and showed him “how ‘news’ should be done”.
Chris added: “More than just a boss, Les was a friend, too. He was kind, patient, sometimes rambling – boy, could his stories go on and on… and on – and had a great wit and sense of humour.
“A staunch Labour man, we’d rarely see eye to eye politically – but that certainly led to some fun debates over the Tuesday night ‘Nemo and chips’.”
“Les passed on Saturday evening, peacefully in his armchair holding hands with his wife, Chris. Exactly how he wanted to go.”
Former Crow reporter Matt Gooding, now business correspondent at the Cambridge News, said: “He was quite a character, he was softly spoken and had a really good sense of humour.
“He always had a good joke. He seemed to come from a different era of journalism. He was a dedicated Arsenal fan and we used to talk about sport quite a bit. He was a real force for good in the town.”