An “inspirational” and “one-off” Isle of Man journalist has died aged 91 after only retiring two years earlier.
Terry Cringle first started as a reporter for the Isle of Man Examiner aged 17 in 1948. He returned for a brief spell after completing his National Service, before joining newspapers in Southport, Nottingham, Newcastle and finally the Manchester Evening Chronicle. He returned to the Isle of Man and the Examiner in 1962.
Seven years later he went freelance, convincing friend and colleague Alan Bell to join him, and they set up the first in-house news service at Manx Radio (previously stories had come from papers after they were in print) as well as worked for UK newspapers. Cringle also worked as a broadcast reporter for the BBC and Border Television.
Cringle and Bell’s biggest story was covering the Summerland leisure centre fire in 1973 in which 50 people died. They received calls from newspapers and TV stations around the world and conveyed what was happening down the phone to UK news agency PA.
In the 1990s Cringle embarked upon a new project publishing books about Manx history. He kept working until the summer of 2020, writing the nostalgia pages for the Examiner for the final 12 years of his 72-year working life.
The Examiner turned its masthead black on Tuesday in Cringle’s honour.
Isle of Man Newspapers editor Richard Butt said: “Terry was an inspirational man and something of a mentor to younger reporters. I remember being slightly in awe of him as a junior reporter in the early 90s.
“In the last 12-plus years, he wrote our nostalgia pages and came into the office most days to collect post and photographs. He continued to write those pages until he was 89, at the beginning of lockdown.
“We were very sad to learn of Terry’s death, not only because we’ll miss him as a man and as a true professional, but because of the strong link he provided to our past.
“He began working on the Isle of Man Examiner in the 1940s. Few papers can boast anyone who could provide such continuity.”
Manx Radio managing director Chris Sully said: “Terry was a fantastic and much respected journalist and presenter. His ‘History Man’ feature is still hugely popular on the Sunday Breakfast show and is one of our most listened to podcasts and downloads.
“Terry and I had some happy times exchanging stories about our respective times with the Royal Air Force and I’ll miss his humour, knowledge and the glint in his eye as he recalled the people and places he’d come across.”
The station’s former general manager Stewart Watterson told the Examiner: “Terry was a wordsmith par excellence and the island’s leading personality journalist of modern times.
“We think of some of the stand-out personalities of Manx journalism who forged the path to the free speech we take for granted today, but they were different times.
“In the context of successful journalism in the post-war years, Terry was a one-off.”
Picture: Isle of Man Newspapers