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Former journalist who helped run news agency dies at 78

A former journalist who helped to run a regional news agency has died at the age of 78 after a long illness.

Ted Elkins, left, helped run the Sunderland News Agency with his father, worked for a number of newspapers and set up a PR company during career, which spanned more than 50 years.

He began as a journalist in the 1950s with the news agency and later moved to Manchester to work for a national newspaper before relocating to Canada, where he was taken on by the Vancouver Sun.

On returning to the UK, Ted wrote a number of books about the brewing industry then set up a PR company in Northamptonshire, while also launching a newspaper for the licensed victuallers’ charity.

Ted died after a long illness in December and his wife Elizabeth has paid tribute to him.

She told the Sunderland Echo: “He was such a character. He was witty, clever. He was an inspiration. He is going to be missed, really missed, by a lot of people. He’s left a huge void in our lives.”

Books written by Ted included So They Brewed Their Own Beer about the history of the Northern Clubs and Federation Brewery, and Our Trade, the story of the major associations of interest to the licensed victualler. He also spent time working for the BBC in TV and radio.

After launching his PR company, his clients included Carlsberg, along with a number of other major companies and hotel chains.

Said Elizabeth: “At the same time, he set up and ran a profitable newspaper for the licensed victuallers’ charity.

“He was a passionate gardener at his 16th century home in Northamptonshire and spent much of his spare time visiting champagne houses in France, and writing prolifically on the subject.

“He was also interested in pottery and made Toby Jugs for Prince Philip and jockey Lester Piggott.”

Ted is survived by Elizabeth, his two children and three grandchildren.

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  • February 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

    YOUNG Ted and Old Ted – as they were affectionately known – gave me my big break in journalism when, as a wet-behind-the-ears schoolboy, I joined the Sunderland News Agency. I owe everything to the legendary pair and have since worked around the world, including the Caribbean and the Middle East.
    Ted was the bright and breezy pro who could write about anything under the sun with prose and panache. His dad was more of the steady-Eddy type – check it again, son!
    I got the best of both worlds from these great newsmen.
    Their tiny Mary Street office – opposite the old Albion pub – was always buzzing with the National pack zooming in almost every day. Young Ted was a real pro – a real gentleman of the Press.
    My condolences to Elizabeth and family.

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