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Journalist had 40-year career in Northcliffe

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 19, 2012

Ron Hill held a number of editorial and management roles at newspapers in Northcliffe

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A former South West Media Group stalwart and Western Morning News sub-editor has died at his home, aged 73.

Ronald Hill was born at Angarrack, Cornwall, and educated at Truro School before embarking on a 40-year career in journalism and management with the WMN's parent company, Northcliffe.

He joined the West Briton, Truro, in 1957, and soon began making his mark. After a few years he was a parliamentary reporter with the Press Association in London.

Married to Dawn Bennetts – they met as young farmers – the couple returned to Cornwall and a home in Redruth, where their sons Rodney and Jeremy were born.

Mr Hill was a sub-editor with the Western Morning News, travelling daily to Plymouth and seeing the paper "to bed" in the early hours.

In the late 1960s he became the West Briton's co-district reporter for Camborne-Redruth and Helston. Mr Hill was also the paper's motoring correspondent, a job he relished as he had a life long love of cars – especially if they were big and fast.

He constantly moved to other Northcliffe papers. After a time as managing editor of the Cornish Guardian, Bodmin, he returned to the West Briton as managing director.

In 1991 his journalistic and managerial skills took him to Devon to be managing editor of the North Devon Journal and finally to Gloucestershire to oversee the Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo. He retired as chairman in 1997 in ill-health.

It was while with the Cornish Guardian in 1985 that he helped Geoff Newman, a helicopter pilot, to form the First Air Ambulance Service Trust and became its chairman.

Mr Hill and his wife, who were married almost 50 years, made their home at Northam, north Devon, where he continued to enjoy his family, including three grandchildren, cars, playing the piano, good eating, crosswords and keeping abreast of the news.

The cremation is at Barnstaple Crematorium tomorrow.

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