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Newspaper proprietor dies aged 98 after 76-year local press career

A newspaper owner who ran an independent weekly for nearly half a century and went on editing into his 90s has died aged 98.

Charles Curry first took the helm at the family-owned New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times in 1966 and only retired as the paper’s editor in 2012.

Charles enjoyed one of the longest recorded careers in the history of UK regional newspapers, having first started work for the paper as a 16-year-old reporter in 1936.

He eventually took over the running of it from his father, Frederick Curry, who had bought the Advertiser before launching the Times in 1932.

Charles Curry in his office at the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times

Charles Curry in his office at the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times

Charles’s death was announced on Monday in a post on the paper’s official Twitter feed. It stated: “We are sad to announce the death of our much-loved proprietor Charles Starr Curry MBE at the age of 98.

“He became editor of the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times on the death of his father in 1966 and remained at the helm for nearly 50 years. He was made an MBE in 1997.”

His son Eddie Curry, who took over from him as A&T managing director, said:  “My father was a great newspaper man and was always determined to print the truth.  He was never happier than when fighting authority and standing up for the ordinary person.

“He never allowed anyone to tell him what to publish – indeed threats of legal action of any other kind of intimidation virtually guaranteed a story would be published just to show he wasn’t going to be pushed around. He established an enormously popular local paper that reported on issues in the community, which will continue into the future.”

News editor Andy Sherwood added: “I worked with Charles for four decades and while all the staff are sad at his passing we have also been recalling our happy memories of a passionate, funny and unique person.

“He was always willing to give someone a chance in journalism with interviews usually consisting of a discussion on whatever issue was on his mind at the time!   Working on the A&T gave us all a great grounding for which we are very grateful.”

The year after stepping down as editor, Charles had a lucky escape from serious injury after being struck by a car outside his house.

He said at the time: “I think I’ve used up another of my nine lives.”

Here is a photographic record of Charles’s long career, using pictures kindly sent to us by the Advertiser and Times.

Charles fourth from right with his father and staff at the paper’s offices in the 1950s

Charles after receivng his MBE in 1997

Charles on his 90th birthday flight in 2010

Charles with his son Eddie Curry and daughter Caroline Woodford as the last black and white edition of the paper rolls of the press in 2018.

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  • February 6, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    looks like an example of an owner who loved journalism. RIP

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