Industry Celebrates Sir Ray Tindle’s ‘Long and Distinguished Career’

News Media Association chairman Ashley Highfield has spoken of the remarkable achievements of Sir Ray Tindle at a lunch celebrating the publisher’s 90th birthday.

At a lunch today attended by national and local press publishers to mark the occasion of Sir Ray’s 90th birthday next year, Mr Highfield recounted some highlights of Sir Ray’s 68-year career in local newspapers and his longstanding involvement with the Newspaper Society, now the NMA.

Mr Highfield said: “You have served our association actively for more than 55 years, holding every office – from president of the Newspaper Society, and honorary treasurer, to councillor and chairman of virtually every committee the members ever invented.

“On top of your many achievements and successes – your OBE in 1973, your CBE in 1987, and being knighted in 1994, it is little known that one of your own personal highlights happened very early in your career.”

Sir Ray launched his first newspaper aboard a troopship at sea during the Second World War and started his publishing company using his army demob payment of £300. 

Speaking at the lunch, Sir Ray launched a passionate defence of local weekly newspapers. He said: “The newspaper industry should be very proud that for over 200 years we have coped with each problem as it came along. To face the current difficulty we’ll achieve more local advertisement revenue and we’ll redesign our businesses in order to ensure that local papers can live out of that new level of revenue, whatever it is. Local papers are wanted and needed by local communities. They will live for ever.

“I got a job on a local weekly and I wouldn’t change one day of a wonderful 68 years in the local press. The locals will survive because no other medium gives local news in depth the way local papers do, and local people want this detail. Local papers are the only medium most locals will ever appear in, and when they do, that’s the medium in which all their neighbours and friends will see it, and so local papers will always be there.”

Over course of his career, Sir Ray has held numerous roles within the news media industry. He was a founder member of Capital Radio and a member of the Guardian Media Group board for nearly 20 years. Sir Ray launched the Weekly Newspaper Advertising Bureau and has been Master of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers.  

He also served on the Newspaper Panel of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and was a member of the Commonwealth Press Union council, as well as being a founder director of PressBoF.

Mr Highfield said: “Never before in the history of the British press has there been a publisher quite like you. We salute you, Ray, for your three years of war time service. We applaud your 68-year career and over 55 years of wise counsel to the NMA and the NS before it. We thank you for the marvellous lunch we are enjoying  today. And we wish you continued success, prosperity and good health throughout your 90th year and beyond.”

Sir Ray’s lunch at the Savoy in London was held following the NMA’s half yearly meeting.