Tributes paid as News man dies aged 87

From left, then managing director of The News Derek Penketh with Ted Brett
From left, then managing director of The News Derek Penketh with Ted Brett

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AN EXCEPTIONAL journalist who served The News for more than 40 years has died aged 87.

Ted Brett was the chief reporter at Gosport for 20 years.

He was an excellent teacher and many journalists who went on to greater things owed their early success to Ted’s inspiration and ability to keep things calm in tense situations

Douglas Hickson

He was so well-known and popular that customers were still asking for him 10 years after he had been promoted away from the town.

Ted’s friend and colleague Graham Hewitt – former director and company secretary of The News – paid tribute, saying: ‘Ted certainly left his mark on Gosport.

‘He was so enthusiastic and interested in what he was doing that he often ended up playing a major part in the organisations that he was asked to report on.

‘When the late Alderman John Fairhall, a former mayor of Gosport, wanted to form a band for the town it was Ted he turned to for advice and publicity.

‘Ted became a leading founder member and trustee of the Gosport Silver Band.

‘He turned his many talents to helping the band and compered many of the concerts.’

Ted was a founder member of the twinning committee when Gosport decided to twin with Royan in France.

After suffering a heart attack, he became chairman of the Haslar Heart support group.

He was regarded as an authoritative historian of the town and one of its leading citizens.

Former deputy editor of The News Douglas Hickson paid tribute to the ‘gifted and dedicated journalist’.

He said: ‘In his long and distinguished career Ted was an outstanding senior district reporter for Gosport with an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of everything going on.

‘He later put this skill to good use when he was promoted to the position of news editor, where he managed the newsgathering and output of more than 40 reporters.

‘He was an excellent teacher and many journalists who went on to greater things owed their early success to Ted’s inspiration and ability to keep things calm in tense situations.’

Mr Hickson said Ted’s final position at The News was contracts editor.

Ted, who lived in Lee-on-the-Solent, is survived by his wife Audrey, two children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He died on Saturday after suffering from a brain tumour.

His funeral will be held on Monday, November 30 at 2.15pm at Portchester Crematorium. All are welcome.