Death of former newspaper boss who rose from "runner" to managing director
A man who spent his entire career in the newspaper industry has died at the age of 90.
Neil Bray worked for both the Burnley Express and the Nelson Leader newspapers after joining the company as an advertising representative at the age of 22.
Before that he had worked at the Lancashire Evening Telegraph as a "runner" and also did a stint in the RAF.
Neil worked his way up to become advertising manager at the Nelson Leader before he was appointed assistant general sales manager of East Lancashire Newspapers, incorporating both the Leader, Express and Clitheroe Advertiser.
He was then appointed as general sales manager, a role he held from 1977 to 1979.
In 1980 he was appointed as a Managing Director of the company, a position he held until his retirement in 1991.
Mary, Neil's wife of 63 years, said: "He loved the job."
An astute businessman, Neil achieved his aim of making the ELN one of the most successful and profitable within the United Provincial Newspapers group which owned around 200 publications at the time.
Paying tribute to Neil, former operations manager Gordon Salthouse, said: "It was a privilege to work for and with Neil.
"He was well respected and admired by his peers for the success he achieved.
"He helped me personally to progress in my career and he had a knack of recognising talent in individuals."
A former pupil of Burnley Grammar School, Neil was a talented athlete and sportsman who won trophies for his skill in cricket and athletics.
But one of his main passions in life was golf. Playing off an impressive handicap of three, Neil was a member of Burnley, Bacup and Clitheroe golf clubs throughout his life.
He was also an active rotarian and a former president and founder of Burnley Pendleside Rotary Club.
When he retired Neil was able to devote more time to his beloved golf and he would play a round every day.
A keen gardener, Neil also loved holidays and a favourite destination was Scotland, the birthplace of his mother.
Neil also leaves a son, Neil jr , daughter Louise, grandchildren Amy and Natalie and a sister Eleanor.
His funeral will be held next Tuesday at Burnley Crematorium at noon.
Anyone who worked with Neil or knew him is welcome to go along and pay their respects.