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Former regional editor Ron Hunt has died, aged 77

Former Northamptonshire Telegraph editor Ron Hunt has died, aged 77, a year after suffering a series of strokes.

He was a major figure in the regional newspaper industry and was awarded an MBE for services to journalism in 1992.

Ron started out as an office boy in his native Warwickshire at Leamington Spa, returning to the newspaper industry in Birmingham after National Service, working for the Gazette, Despatch and Sunday Mercury Group.

He returned to the Leamington Morning News as chief reporter before joining East Midland Allied Press in 1969 as its first editorial training officer.

In 1971 Ron moved to be editor-in-chief at West Suffolk Newspapers at Bury St Edmunds, before becoming editor of the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph and executive editor for Emap provincial newspapers.

He joined the Diss Express, in Norfolk, in 1986 as managing editor, and after a successful spell decided it was time to work for himself. In 1992 he set up an editorial and design consultancy and had been involved with journalism training up until his stroke.

In 2006 he was named in the Press Gazette Hall of Fame as one of the top 40 people in the history of regional journalism.

He said at the time: “It is not a job, it is a way of life. I think you are lucky if you are doing a job that you like and I have been lucky that my wife has put up with it for 54 years.”

Diss Express editor Steven Penny paid tribute to his predecessor: “I first came across Ron early in my career when he was training at a newspaper I worked at in Yorkshire.

“He was such a fantastic teacher, full of enthusiasm for the subject – not just the traditions of the job but was also fully up-to-date and enthused by the very latest technology.

“He came to see me the very first week I started at the Diss Express and was always there for a friendly chat about life as a weekly newspaper editor and always enjoyed talking to the newest trainees to share his ideas with them.

“I would regularly see Ron in Mere Street, always with a crowd of friends and well wishers round him – he had time for everyone.

“He will be sorely missed, not only by the newspaper industry but by the Diss and district community at large.”

Ron leaves a widow, Joan, four daughters and five grandchildren.

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