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Former long-serving Welsh newspaper editor dies

A former local newspaper editor who worked for the same Welsh newspaper for five decades has died aged 87.

Ted Griffiths, editor of The Brecon & Radnor Express for the last 35 years of his 50 year career died on 27 March.

Ted was the paper’s longest serving editor and in the final three years of his reign introduced two radical changes at the Brecon based title, now owned by Tindle Newspapers.

These were replacing adverts at the front page of the paper with news stories, and ditching hot metal presses in 1992 in favour of computer production.

The paper closed its print works in Brecon and shed more than half its staff. Despite this Ted spent the next six months building on the successes the changes brought to the newspaper and circulation rose rapidly.

The paper was able to employ more journalists and advertising staff and opened new district offices in Brecon and Radnor.

Former Brecon & Radnor Express reporter Arwyn Evans said: “I had the privilege of working with him for 29 wonderfully happy years when he directed the paper with a quiet calm and good humour. He was a skillful reporter and astute editor. The news room was never happier than when he was around.”

Ted retired in 1993, aged 68, after joining the paper as a 15-year-old cub reporter but continued to supply community news from the district, filing his last regular column in 2004.

In an interview with The Independent in the early 90s he said: “When I joined in 1940 the content was not very different. We use purely local news, things that happen in the community. Dances, whist drives, weddings, funerals. People like to see their names and pictures in the paper.”

Ill health in recent years finally forced Ted and wife Evelyn to move to Newport, Shropshire to be near their son, Philip.

Said Philip: “He loved his job I remember the sort of things he got involved in such as when I was a little boy and he had to interview a wrestler, who didn’t like the report, and then offered to fight him in a wrestling ring.”

Ted’s funeral will be held at St Cadmarch’s Church, Llangammarch Wells on Tuesday 10 April at 2pm.