Richard “Dick” Tidiman, former editor of the East London Advertiser, died suddenly at his home on the Isle of Dogs.
He collapsed in the conservatory of his house in Compass Point and was spotted by a neighbour who raised the alarm. A post mortem showed that he had died from liver failure.
Dick, 55, was born in Essex and joined the Essex and East London newspaper group in 1970.
He became editor of the ELA in 1977 and was promoted to group editor in 1999, taking editorial responsibility for the Hackney Gazette and Stratford Express.
Dick took early retirement in 2005 on grounds of ill health.
East End political leaders and former work colleagues were quick to pay tribute to Tidiman, described by many as an “inspiring” figure. Dozens of young journalists started their careers under his tutelage, with many rising to the upper echelons of the profession.
Julia Hartley-Brewer, now political editor of the Sunday Express, spent almost two years as a reporter at the Advertiser in the mid-1990s.
“Dick was my first boss in journalism,” she said. “He was a no-nonsense,
old time hack and I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher.
“We always kept in touch and spoke only a month ago. His death is a great loss to his many friends, to journalism, to the East London Advertiser — and to East Londoners.” Close neighbour and former Tower Hamlets council leader, Julia Mainwaring, said her daughter Anna, now working for the BBC, benefited from his guidance.
“He gave her her first break as a work experience student and really encouraged her to go for it. I saw him not long ago and thought he looked better than he had been for a while. He was a real character and I had genuine affection for him.
“He really cared about his readers and people in all levels of society. He was instrumental in campaigning for the Civilians Remembered memorial in Wapping to the victims of the wartime bombing in the Docks.
“Without his decision to get the Advertiser involved, that memorial might not have come about. I’ll also always remember him when we walked round South Quay after the IRA bomb and how genuinely moved he was by it.”
Phil Hall, media consultant and former editor of the News of the World, said: “Dick Tidiman was a brilliant journalist, who always connected with his readers.
“He was an inspiration to a generation of young journalists and a friend who could be relied on for a kind word in times of trouble.” Ex-Bethnal Green and Bow MP Oona King said she was saddened to hear of Dick’s death.
“Even though we disagreed on lots of things, I often had a laugh with him.
We had a healthy professional relationship and a shared respect for colourful characters in life. Many people will miss him dearly.” London Minister and Poplar and Canning Town MP Jim Fitzpatrick said they frequently argued on political issues, but he still respected him.
He added: “Richard was a toff, at least that’s how he appeared to me, always very correct. We didn’t agree on much but I always respected that he didn’t favour anyone.
“He printed what he liked and even when he liked, with stories and letters appearing way after they were sent in.”
Courtesy of East London Advertiser