Newspaper boss Sir Ray Tindle has sought to dismiss suggestions he should retire despite turning 87 soon, as he held a celebration lunch for the 180th anniversary of one of his titles.
The chairman of Tindle Newspapers said that despite having his 87th birthday in three weeks, he had no plans to retire after 65 years in “this wonderful job”.
He was speaking at a lunch to mark the 180th anniversary of the Greenwich Mercury, which launched a new Greenwich Town Mercury in July, and the event was also the official launch of two other new editions of the title, for Charlton and Blackheath.
At the event, held at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, Sir Ray also revealed that last week, each of his London titles went into profit “for the first time for a considerable period”.
Speaking to guests, which included Newspaper Society president Adrian Jeakings, Sir Ray said: “Now you are thinking ‘he may have spent a lifetime in local papers but isn’t he getting on a bit at 87 in three weeks time, to be running newspapers?’
“Well, my answer to that is that I’m still doing it, after 65 unbroken years in this wonderful job and I would ask you to bear in mind that Professor Lord Asa Briggs in the opening paragraph of his English Social History said ‘Age is an asset, not a liability.'”
He also highlighted how Sir Winston Churchill was in his 80s when he became Prime Minister for the second time, Gladstone was Prime Minister at 85 and Lord Bill Deedes was still regularly writing a column for the Daily Telegraph at 88.
Said Sir Ray: “This company’s coat of arms, which is on every copy printed, says ‘Noli Cedere’ – ‘Never Surrender’. With your help, we never have and never will/shall. However long the battle lasts Tindle Newspapers will fight for its titles and its staff.
“Allow me to end by saying this. One swallow doesn’t make a summer but I’m pleased to tell you that, for the first time for a considerable period, last week every one of our London titles went into profit.”
He also praised his staff in South London and across his other titles, who have launched 21 new titles since the recession began.
And he said Tindle Newspapers had not made anyone compulsorily redundant, although he admitted staff numbers had been reduced by voluntary means.