A former editor and director of the South Yorkshire Times, Richard Ridyard, has died at his home in Rotherham, south Yorkshire, at the age of 88.
He had been a widower since 1994 following the death of his wife Margaret, who was a teacher. They attended a royal garden party in 1975, meeting the Queen.
A journalist for 48 years, and a respected community stalwart, Ridyard, known as “Dick” or “RDR” to close friends and colleagues and to many of the reporters he trained, continued to write long after his retirement in 1979.
Ridyard had been chief reporter and sports editor at the South Yorkshire Times before taking over as editor on the death of Sidney Hacking in 1968.
Until shortly before his death he continued to take a keen interest in the newspaper and kept in touch via phone to offer help, advice and information whenever he could.
He wrote for magazines and went on to publish four crime novels during a period when he was admitted to the Crime Writers’ Association.
He was president of the North Eastern Region of the Guild of British Newspaper Editors in 1973, served on the National Council for the Training of Journalists and was a national proficiency test assessor.
Born in West Melton, south Yorkshire, he went to Wath Grammar School and served with the RAF in North Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, Malta, Italy and Greece between 1939-45.
Ridyard was a very keen photographer and was a member of The Camera Club of London and Rotherham Photographic Society.
His other interests led to him being a founder member and first chair of Doncaster National Cactus Society, president of Mexborough Cage Bird Society, deputy chair of Wath committee of Rotherham Arts Council.
He was president of Mexborough and Don Valley Motor Cycle and Light Car Club, was a member of Mexborough Probus Club, a member of Rotherham Society of Artists, and as early as 1957 became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Ridyar wrote this obituary before his death