A WELL-known Ledbury man who ran the Talbot Hotel for many years has died at the age of 89.

Leslie Wrist, of Leadon Bank, was a journalist, soldier, publican and a family man.

He moved into the area 54 years ago.

Mr Wrist was the first chairman of Ledbury Licensed Victuallers' Association, chairman of the urban council, a magistrate and founder member and chairman of the town's Rotary Club.

But it will be his time running the Talbot for which he will be most fondly remembered. With his wife Gwendoline, he held the license of the New Street hotel for 21 years before retiring in 1969.

During his time at the 16th Century hotel, he played host to celebrated actor Boris Karloff.

He will also be remembered for his labrador dog, which had been trained to ring time with a handbell gripped in its teeth.

Mr Wrist began work in journalism at the age of 16. Five years later he became editor of the Torquay Times and, at 21, was one of the youngest editors in the country.

His did stints at the Daily Mail and Morning Post, before moving into publicity with the General Electricity Company.

When war broke out he joined the Royal Signals. Posted to defend the Thames estuary, he was responsible for saving more than one life during the blitz. After the war he moved his family to Ledbury.

His wife died in February this year. Mr Wrist leaves a daughter, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.