Industry Says Farewell To Newspaper Icon Sir Ray Tindle

Sir Ray Tindle was a man of “impeccable manners and clear sense of purpose” who ran his newspaper business with “decency, pride and acute business acumen,” a packed memorial service for the newspaper industry icon in Farnham heard. 

Former Newspaper Society president Sir Ray Tindle, the founder of Tindle Newspapers, died aged 95 earlier this year and last Friday 230 guests attended his memorial service in St Andrew’s Church in Farnham.

Sir Ray was president of the Newspaper Society – which became the News Media Association when the NS merged with the Newspaper Publishers’ Association in 2014 – in 1971, and was its honorary treasurer for 14 years.

Former NMA chief executive David Newell paid tribute to Sir Ray on behalf of the newspaper industry. Mr Newell said: “Lady Tindle, Owen, the whole Tindle family company, it is a great honour to be here to speak about Sir Ray on behalf of the whole newspaper world.

“Travelling to Farnham from the Newspaper Society in Bloomsbury, I always had a great sense of excitement – to be met by Sir Ray sometimes in an oil sputtering vintage car – sometimes driven at speed by him – often with no hands on the wheel – past Number 10 Downing Street – Farnham – Lady Tindle’s charity shop and then to the Old Court House – Sir Ray’s office – to be shown the police cells if the going was tough.

“A world of weekly newspapers run with a sense of decency, pride and acute business acumen – unrivalled and envied by large and small newspaper publishers alike. No one would not take a call from Sir Ray and no one would not be charmed by Sir Ray with his impeccable manners and clear sense of purpose.”

Mr Newell also commended Sir Ray’s service to the NMA, and former Newspaper Society, over the many years: “Sir Ray’s service to the Newspaper Society was unique – as a Newspaper Society employee first, then as President and Treasurer as he built up the most successful group of weekly newspapers from scratch.

“All this could have made him too formidable to a novice such as myself but his advice and guidance and wisdom coupled with his sense of humour and mischief inspired loyalty. He knew how every single job should be done as he had done most of them at some point himself.

“Sir Ray believed in the value of community – a sense of place and locality. It would be a complete mistake though to think of Sir Ray as being parochial. He saw the big picture – the importance of the newspaper industry working together as one, as a counterbalance to the power of the state and vested interests. Above all to serve the reader.

“He fought many battles for the freedom of the press, uniting both national and local newspaper titles and publishers through his personal charisma and conviction. He demonstrated that those editorial freedoms were founded on the role and power of the publisher when responsibly exercised.”

Tributes were also paid to Sir Ray by his son Owen Tindle, Farnham Town Mayor Cllr Alan Earwaker and Robert Stiby OBE. To read more on the service, click here.