For­mer ed­i­tor will be much missed

Bril­liant joker who could brighten any room

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - By Ai­dan Bar­low

Fam­ily and friends have paid trib­ute to a “larger than life” for­mer ed­i­tor of the Ken­tish Ex­press.

Paul Smith, 72, had worked as both news ed­i­tor and ed­i­tor of this pa­per dur­ing the 1970s and 1980s, be­fore set­ting up Plus Pub­lic Re­la­tions in Ashford.

He had also worked for the Kent Mes­sen­ger Group at its Lark­field of­fice as busi­ness ed­i­tor in the 1970s.

His wife Lorely said this week that he was a “larger than life char­ac­ter” who could brighten a room with his sense of hu­mour and his Win­ston Churchill im­pres­sions.

She said: “He was born in Cum­bria and was al­ways a proud north­erner. I met him when he was my mother’s lodger.

“He was a bril­liant joker, he used to walk into a room and the at­mos­phere would change, quite sud­denly it would be­come louder and nois­ier.

“He was an old-style jour­nal­ist and was al­ways very pop­u­lar. Orig­i­nally he started at the South Wales Echo, and was among those re­port­ing the Aber­fan dis­as­ter in 1966, dig­ging through the rub­ble with ev­ery­body else. “He never for­got that.” She added: “He was gen­er­ous and un­der­stand­ing to his staff and a very hon­est man. He re­tired at 62 and to­gether we moved to France.

“We’ve had 11 lovely years in Brit­tany and thor­oughly en­joyed it.

“Paul never lost his love for cur­rent af­fairs, pol­i­tics and his­tory and would still shout at the news when it came on.”

She added that he will be sadly missed by her and her son Thomas and Paul’s friends and for­mer news­room col­leagues.

Yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day) would have been Mr Smith’s 73rd birth­day.

His fu­neral will take place in Frace to­mor­row (Fri­day).

Nor­man Smith, KM Group le­gal ad­viser and for­mer manag­ing ed­i­tor, said: “I have known and worked with Paul for many years, with some out­ra­geous sur­prises along the way.

“We will be talk­ing Paul sto­ries for a long time. I will miss him very much.”

For­mer Ken­tish Ex­press ed­i­tor Paul Smith has died aged 72

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