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New notable names are unveiled on commemorative wall

Two males and an older lady in a wheelchair unveiling a plaque on a brick wall.

A plaque bearing the names of Sir Ray Tindle and Lady Beryl Tindle is the latest to appear on a town centre wall dedicated to notable names of Farnham. 

Lady Tindle and her son Owen Tindle joined the Mayor of Farnham, Councillor Alan Earwaker to reveal the plaque at a special ceremony on Friday 14 July. The plaque celebrates the achievements and philanthropic work of both Sir Ray Tindle and Lady Beryl Tindle. 

Following the unveiling, guests, which included colleagues from the Tindle Group, friends of the family and special guests, gathered at the Town Hall for a reception. 

The Mayor paid tribute to the couple and told how Sir Ray Tindle was born in 1926 to John and Maud Tindle and was educated at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School having been evacuated from London during the War. 

After leaving school he enlisted in the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment, an infantry regiment in the British Army and rose to the rank of captain.

Sir Ray met his childhood sweetheart Beryl at school when they were aged seven and were married in Streatham in 1949. Moving to the local area in the 1960s, Ray and Beryl made a huge impact to Farnham over the next 50 years. 

The Mayor said: ”Sir Ray and Lady Tindle were always supporting local charities and organisations. Sir Ray, affectionately known as Mr Farnham, helped numerous local schools, charities and individuals with specific help and was known for his charm and shrewd business sense.”

After buying his first newspaper the Tooting & Balham Gazette, Sir Ray went on to set up the Tindle Group of regional newspapers and radio stations. At its peak the group owned more than 220 publications.

Sir Ray was made the first Freeman of Farnham for his philanthropy, civic pride and passion for the local community.

Over the years, Sir Ray was a prime mover in saving some key Farnham assets that faced an uncertain future as well as helping unemployed people through his Tindle Enterprise Centres. He responded to the community in purchasing the Wrecclesham Community Centre and gifting it to the town; he provided key finance to enable the Bishop’s Meadow Trust to purchase the water meadows; and he purchased the historic Church House and the adjacent magistrate’s court. 

Sir Ray’s contribution to the Farnham Society, the Farnham Chamber of Commerce and Farnham Castle and his patronage of so many other community organisations was legendary, as was his knack of bringing together key players when there were controversial local matters under discussion.

Acknowledging Lady Tindle’s contribution to the town, the Mayor said: “Lady Tindle was always known by Sir Ray as ‘his rock’ for her support but her additional contribution in supporting the town was through the opening of the Downing Street Charity Shop in 1987.  

“She ran it with her team of volunteers for 35 years and during this time over £30,000 was raised for various charities. Lady Tindle was rightly made an MBE in 2008 for her voluntary services to Farnham.”

In his concluding remarks, the Mayor said: “Farnham Town Council is particularly grateful to Sir Ray for being the inspiration and sponsor of the Services to Farnham Awards which recognise the service by individuals to the town he loved.

“In 2014, a newly refurbished area of the Town Hall was named the Tindle Suite in honour of Sir Ray and Lady Tindle’s philanthropy and service to the town. It is fitting that we are marking their addition to the notable names of Farnham in the Town Hall today [Friday].”

Tributes were also made by the Lord Lieutenant Michael More Molyneux, Andrew Lodge former President of the Farnham Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Farnham Visitors’ Forum, and a recipient of the support of Sir Ray when he started out in business, Councillor George Hesse.

The notable names wall is in South Street and features the names of people who have achieved great things in Farnham or elsewhere. There are currently 29 plaques showing the names of people from the worlds of music, sport, literature and architecture. 

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