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Former weekly picture editor and ‘great news man’ dies aged 80

Terry ConnollyA former weekly picture editor described as a “great news man” has died aged 80.

Tributes have been paid to Terry Connolly, left, who held the position on both the Sussex Express and Eastbourne Herald and Gazette.

Terry passed away on Saturday 4 November after suffering with Alzheimer’s for several years.

Former Herald editor Peter Austin, who worked with Terry on the Express, described him as a “great news man”.

He said: “There was hardly a major story in East Sussex in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s that Terry didn’t cover. He wasn’t just a photographer, he was a 24/7 news man with a terrific imagination.”

Terry had started out on the Express as a staff photographer, having previously worked as a freelance with the late journalist Mike Storr.

He spent 15 years before moving to Eastbourne, and continued to work weekends for the Herald and Gazette even after his retirement 15 years ago.

Justin Lycett, now multimedia editor at the Hastings Observer series, began his career as a darkroom assistant at the Herald and was trained by Terry.

He said, “Back in 1989 I was a lost 17-year-old who had no interest in photography or newspapers but Terry saw something in me.

“He not only took me on as a darkroom printer, he turned me into a photographer and, more importantly, gave me so much good advice on life in general during the eight years I worked with him. He’s somebody I’ll never forget.”

Former Eastbourne Herald editor Hugh Rowlings, who led the paper from 1986 to 1996, added: “He was one of the best news photographers I have ever met. I’ve known him since 1969 when he was a freelance photographer in Eastbourne and I had just joined the local office of the Evening Argus as a reporter.

“He was always first to the story whether it was a fire, a road crash or a rescue drama at Beachy Head no matter if it was day or night.”

Terry was married to Thelma and had five children, Andrea, Julie, Samantha, Tabitha and Gareth, as well as 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

His funeral takes place today at 3.15pm at Eastbourne Crematorium.  All friends are welcome at the service and afterwards at the Fisherman’s Club.