across the country are mourning the death of a former Surrey Mirror
journalist who went on to train hundreds of reporters at the Darlington
Ted Hill was born in Horley, Surrey, in 1922,
and from an early age developed a love of writing and drawing. He was a
scout leader in the area and set up a district newsletter, which he
persuaded local newspaper managers to print.
In 1939 he joined
the Surrey Mirror staff at their headquarters in Ladbroke Road,
Redhill, just weeks before the outbreak of the Second World War.
He was 17 years old and a raw recruit, employed by the then editor, Charles Preston.
When he joined the Surrey Mirror it was jointly owned by two spinsters named Porter who lived at Copthorne. It had been left to them by their father.
Reporters used to put their own headlines on stories in those days; little sub-editing took place.
recalled only recently that the editor, Mr Bath, was a “short, broad,
fiery chap with a ginger moustache. He was 68 when I joined the paper,”
wrote Hill in the Surrey Mirror’s 125th anniversary edition last July.
He left the staff in 1942 to join the Press Association.
During the Second World War he served with the French Navy as a liaison officer. He met his wife, Joan, during the war.
After a spell on newspapers in Halifax and Sheffield, he became a sub-editor on The Daily Telegraph in Manchester.
In 1968, Mr Hill established the journalism training course at Darlington on moving to the town where he lived until his death.
father-of-seven has been cremated at Darlington. Ralph Hill, a brother
of Ted, said that there had been glowing tributes in the northern
newspapers to his brother.
Peter Barron, editor of the Northern Echo, said: “Ted laid the foundations for the careers of countless journalists.”
Mark Davison Community editor, Surrey Mirror