A FORMER editor of The Hereford Times who was known widely throughout journalism as 'one of the best' has died, aged 88, writes LIZ WATKINS.

Charles Raymond Goulding spent 15 years with the newspaper, 10 as chief sub-editor and three as editor and he maintained a critical interest in its progress until days before his death at the County Hospital on Monday.

Mr Goulding, known to all as Ray, was married to Jean and the couple were celebrating their 52nd wedding anniversary on the day he died.

He spent a lifetime in journalism, his first love, but decided on a change of career later in life when he was offered a directorship in S.A Evans, funeral directors in Hereford which was owned by his wife's family.

He worked in the business for five years before retiring in 1978, winning the respect of many families across the county for his integrity and compassion during their times of bereavement.

Born at Lydney, Mr Goulding started his working career with the South Wales Argus at Newport and then five years with the Forest of Dean Newspapers.

He became well known as a rugby critic and features contributor to the News Chronicle and in 1938 joined The Citizen in Gloucester.

During the last war he joined the RAF seeing service in the Middle East, East Africa, France, Belgium and Germany. After the war he returned to The Citizen and became sports editor. Mr Goulding joined The Hereford Times in 1953 and was chief sub-editor for 10 years and then editor for three.

Only a few weeks ago in this paper, Frank Keating, who recently retired from The Guardian, described him as 'the best sub-editor I have ever known'.

He instilled into all young journalists his own strict attention to both accuracy and detail.

Mr Goulding and his wife moved to Hythe in Kent in 1983 but returned to Hereford nearly six years ago to a new home in Pine Grove.

Over the years the former editor maintained his membership of RAFA and the Royal British Legion.

Mr Goulding is survived by his wife Jean, sons Clive and John, daughter Jane and four grandchildren.

Mr Goulding's funeral will be held at Hereford Crematorium on Tuesday at 10.40am.