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Tributes as former weekly editor dies aged 92

A South Coast journalist who splashed the first gay wedding while editing a weekly in the 1960s has died at the age of 92.

Tony Frowd-Jones, a former features editor of Bournemouth’s Daily Echo, started his career at the Salisbury Journal as a trainee reporter.

He served in the Army but was invalided out due to rheumatic fever, resuming his career at the Poole-based Times Herald.

He became a sub-editor, chief sub-editor and finally editor of  a group of weekly papers including the Bournemouth Times, Christchurch Times, Swanage Times and Poole Herald.

Tony later transferred to the Daily Echo, Bournemouth as features editor, remaining in the post until his retirement in 1984.

He never married and lived with his mother Grace for 75 years until her death in the 1990s.

Retired journalist Dave Till, who was given his first job by Tony in 1963, said: “He was a courageous editor who dealt brilliantly with big local angles on news, including the Great Train Robbery and the Christine Keeler scandal.

“He also splashed the first gay wedding, when two male bus workers were hitched, but the story didn’t go down well with the Poole Herald’s rather conservative readers. Tony was an inspiration to young journalists.”

Another former colleague, Gay Pirrie-Weir said: “He was my first editor. He was just wonderful and incredibly funny. He was tiny, twinkly and very kind.”

Tony broke his hip in a fall earlier this year and suffered a stroke a week before his death in Poole Hospital last month.  His funeral takes place at Poole Crematorium at 2pm tomorrow.