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More than 200 gather to remember ‘one of the greatest local newspapermen’

Ray TindleMore than 200 mourners gathered to celebrate the life of a veteran regional newspaper proprietor on what would have been his 96th birthday.

A total of 230 guests were present for the memorial service in honour of Sir Ray Tindle at St Andrew’s Church, in Farnham, Surrey.

They included the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, representing the King, and the former head of the News Media Association, David Newell OBE, as well as Sir Ray’s family and senior ex-colleagues.

Sir Ray, who chaired Tindle Newspapers until he turned 90 and served as the group’s president thereafter, died in April aged 95. His son Owen Tindle, who succeeded him as chairman of the group, was among those to address the congregation.

He said: “My father Sir Ray would have been very pleased and very humbled to know so many people had come along to his memorial service today.

“My father was a great man and an extraordinary man who led an extraordinary and amazing life.

“He always said he would live forever. When he became ill for the last time he said 100.

“He got to 95 and a half. He never ever surrendered.”

Owen went on to discuss his father’s career, which began in the 1940s and ended with him running local papers and radio stations covering parts of Wales, Surrey, Hampshire, Essex, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Ireland, the Channel Isles and the Isle of Man.

Added Owen: “He was a force of nature, a fighter and a winner. He was always entertaining but if you went up against him in business you would probably lose.

“He built up a huge empire of more than 200 newspapers and a dozen radio stations and was proud of every one of them.

“He has been called one of the greatest local newspapermen of all time. It’s six months since he died but it’s still hard to believe that he’s gone. A bright light has gone out but we will never ever forget him.”

The Lord-Lieutenant read Psalm 121 while the Reverend David Uffindell led Friday’s service.

Describing the determination and optimism which led Sir Ray to live such a long life, Rev Uffindell said: “Some of us even thought Sir Ray would live forever.”

Delivering his own tribute, Mr Newell told the gathering that Sir Ray’s business acumen was “unrivalled and envied.”

“He knew the power of newspapers and the role of a proprietor. He had meetings and phone calls with the royal family and prime ministers, all of whom revered Sir Ray.

“He inspired complete loyalty as he had done almost every job himself. When speaking to the Newspaper Society in front of 50 publishers he could hold a room with his oratory. He saw the big picture, the importance of the newspaper industry working together against the power of the state and vested interests.

“There was a personal charisma and conviction to Sir Ray and his enduring legacy is to show that newspapers matter if owned by people of integrity.”