Sir Ray Tindle, the long-standing newspaper proprietor who became the name behind South London Press, has died at the age of 95.
He was the founder and lifetime president of Tindle News, which owned regional titles across the UK as well as radio stations.
At its peak, the Tindle group owned more than 220 publications.
He bought his first London paper with the demob payment he received after serving in the Second World War and went on to own dozens of titles.
Among them was the South London Press, which he bought from Trinity Mirror in 2007 and maintained until 2016 before it was sold on to its present owners, now operating as MSI Media Ltd.
Danny Cammiade, chief executive of Tindle Newspapers, said: “Sir Ray was a traditional local newspaper proprietor who truly believed in the importance of covering grassroots news with people and faces at the forefront of everything.
“Sir Ray had a long association with the former Newspaper Society, holding the office of president for many years and for many years acting as treasurer.
“He was a benefactor of numerous charities and a supporter of the industry and all who worked within it.”
South London Press company manager Ali Huseyin said: “I met Sir Ray on two occasions when he came to see us at our Penge offices and at the 150th year anniversary on HMS Belfast, Sir Ray took the time to speak with every staff member.
“His passion for local press was infectious and we can’t thank him enough for the contribution he made to local newspapers.
“We are all deeply saddened by his passing and our condolences go out to all his family and friends.”
Ray Tindle’s legacy can be felt today all over the UK. Tindle Newspapers now owns local publications and radio stations covering large parts of Wales, Surrey, Hampshire, Essex, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
He managed to keep his businesses debt-free as well, making him something of a unique figure in the media industry.
He was made a CBE in the 1987 Queen’s birthday honours and knighted in 1994 for services to the newspaper industry.
He only stepped down as chairman of his company five years ago, when he was succeeded by his son, Owen.
Pictured top: Lady Tindle and Sir Ray Tindle pictured with the Queen and Edwin Boorman, the then President of The Newspaper Society at the Newspaper Society Golden Jubilee Luncheon at The Savoy in London in 2002 (PA)
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