ONE of Cornwall’s most colourful characters, and former editor of the Packet, Roy Standring has died following a period of ill health.

Mr Standring was editor of the Packet series of newspapers in the mid 70s arriving with his family from London after working for the Daily Telegraph.

He went on to work at the West Briton before becoming Cornwall’s Tourism officer where he remained until his retirement.

He was born Roy Edward Standring to Arthur and Bertha on February 5, 1936, the youngest of three brother to David and Sheila.

His brother David died in a road accident when he was just 12.

At the local grammar school he developed his love for writing and acting, often taking the female role in school productions. When he moved to Cornwall he often took centre stage at Mawnan Pantos as the panto dame.

His son Neil said his dad loved to be centre of attention:

“It was at school he also discovered his talent for ‘talking loudly’ or should I say, public speaking! He won the ‘Declamation” prize at 15 years of age. This was just the beginning of his countless appearances as compare, host and MC at a whole variety of events or whenever a big booming voice was required! Of course his grand stature of 6 ft 5 and a half inches aided him in his performances and “ You have to be a show off,” confirmed Dad!

He loved to sing and sang in church choirs both as a schoolboy and adult.

When he left school he joined the local newspaper The Weston Mercury to train as a journalist. In 1954 he had a break in his training for two years to do his National Service in Oswestry, Shropshire. It was here he met his future wife Pamela, who was training as a nurse and physiotherapist. They married in 1960. A marriage which lasted 56 years.

After completing his National Service he returned to journalism, now for the Daily Telegraph in Manchester

He was moved from the general office to the sport section of the Telegraph. He volunteered to report on less reported sports such as water skiing and archery.

“Here, Dad’s talent for writing is highlighted,” said Neil. “He was told, ‘It’s such a relief to have a chap who knows what he’s talking about at last.” Dad didn’t have a clue about either sport! But it was his passion for cricket and rugby union for which Dad loved to report on and for which he was known for the most.”

Between 1963 and 1971 their children, Martin, Sally-Ann, Neil and Jacquetta were born.

In 1969 family moved to London where he stayed with the Telegraph. But his aim in life was to become editor to a small seaside town paper. So in 1973 they made the big decision to move down to Mawnan Smith, with a family of four children between the ages of 18 months and nine years, where he became editor of the Falmouth Packet.

After a few years he left to join the West Briton. Colleagues remember him from the days of cut and paste in newspapers taking unused cross headers from the wall and using them on stories they had no relevance to. One week when they were short of a looking back 25 years article he made one up about a cat getting stuck in a car engine in St Ives and travelling all over the country. No one ever complained.

He took a change in direction in 1985 and moved to the Cornish Tourist Board where he headed up the team until his retirement.

Poor health lead to a huge and heart-wrenching decision to move away from Cornwall to be closer to family, Sally-Ann and Neil. And the couple moved up to North Somerset, Sandford Station in 2011, where they threw themselves into village life and activities.

Mr Standring certainly lived life to the full, he badly injured an already sore back tripping over a hosepipe going to the rescue of a woman in a burning house.

50 years ago this month while on holiday in Folkestone he dived into the sea to save the 30-year-old Countess of Coventry from drowning. A story reported in the Leicester Mercury’s looking back page just this month, where he had also been a reporter.

Following his death he was buried in Somerset on September 14