A FORMER editor of the Swindon Advertiser, Jim Worsdale, has died at the age of 86.

Jim, a highly respected journalist throughout his long working life, was taken ill at his home in

Shoebury, Essex last Tuesday. He died the following day at Southend Hospital.

He joined what was then the Swindon Evening Advertiser in 1977 after the retirement of the long-serving editor Fred Hazell.

Deploying the editorial skills and marketing flair he learned while working on national newspapers and magazines in London, plus papers in the United States, Jim set about refreshing the Adver’s appearance and content.

Paul Deal, who was recruited by Jim as the Adver’s chief sub editor, said: “Jim Worsdale was a great editor who gave the Adver a complete spring clean.

“Some of the journalists didn’t much like his bright ’n’ breezy style, but the readers did.

“He introduced free-to-enter bingo games offering big prizes which proved popular.”

Jim leaves a widow Beryl, sons Alan and Paul, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

He began his career at the Southend Standard in 1948 as a proof reader’s assistant and general messenger boy in the offices and print works before becoming a trainee reporter.

He left the Standard in the late 1950s and returned to the paper as editor around 20 years later.

During his career as a journalist, Jim worked at the Reveille, Titbits, on the Daily Express sports desk and also launched a small weekly paper in Hadleigh, Suffolk, called The Local Review.

In the 1960s, Jim became a freelance correspondent for Copley News Service of San Diego, California and he spent time as copy editor on the Miami Daily News after relocating to the United States.

When he returned to the UK, he became editor of the newly-launched Southend Evening Echo.

Jim finally slowed down after

suffering a heart attack but continued to contribute to the Echo during his retirement, working from home.