TRIBUTES have been paid to a veteran journalist and author after his death at 78.
Ted Elkins, from Sunderland, worked for a string of local and national newspapers during a career spanning more than 50 years, as well as helping to run a successful news agency on Wearside.
Developing a talent for TV and radio, he was also employed by the BBC and later launched his own public relations firm.
His wife Elizabeth said: “He was such a character. He was witty, clever. He was an inspiration.
“He is going to be missed, really missed, by a lot of people.
“He’s left a huge void in our lives.”
After spending years at the former Sunderland News Agency, which he ran with his father, Ted, who first became a journalist in the 1950s, moved to Manchester to work for a national newspaper before relocating to Canada, where he was taken on by the Vancouver Sun.
On his return, he wrote and published books, including So They Brewed Their Own Beer, the history of the Northern Clubs and Federation Brewery, and Our Trade, the story of the major associations of interest to the licensed victualler.
He moved away from the North East to Northamptonshire 35 years ago to run his own public relations company, which included Carlsberg as one of its main clients, as well a host of major companies and hotel chains.
Elizabeth, who was married to Ted for 55 years, said: “At the same time, he set up and ran a profitable newspaper for the licensed victuallers’ charity.
“He was a passionate gardener at his 16th century home in Northamptonshire and spent much of his spare time visiting champagne houses in France, and writing prolifically on the subject.
“He was also interested in pottery and made Toby Jugs for Prince Philip and jockey Lester Piggott.”
Ted, who passed away on December 21 after a long illness, is survived by wife Elizabeth, his two children and three grandchildren.