The much-loved former Devizes reporter Terry Gaylard has died. He was 92.

Colleagues from his 45 year career with the Gazette and Herald have been paying tribute.

He retired in 1990. Ian Girvan worked as a junior reporter for him in 1962.

"He was a very kind and tolerant man," he said. "I was fortunate to have him as a boss. He left me to it and wasn't too prescriptive about things. He was that old fashioned sort of local journalist that is so rare these days. He knew everything on his patch."

Nigel Kerton was his opposite number in the Marlborough area. "He was Mr Devizes," he said. "Everyone knew who he was. He was a real old fashioned professional."

He is survived by his wife Jan. The couple met late in life.

"My father had died," said Jan. " So my mother and I went to the Isle of Man for a holiday. Terry was staying at the same place and ate at our table. That's how we met." The couple married in 1986 at St Peter's church in Devizes.

"I have had so many messages of condolence from people, and at least a dozen bunches of flowers. I and just so pleased he is remembered by so many people. He would have been very pleased with that."

Mr Gaylard was born in Bemerton, Salisbury, but moved to Devizes as an infant. The family lived in Avon Terrace and Mr Gaylard attended Devizes Grammar School.

He said: “I was at a loss as to what I wanted to do when I left but I saw an advert in the Gazette & Herald for a trainee reporter so I applied.”

He was offered a trial period of employment at the princely salary of 10 shillings (50p) a week.

He said: “I was thrown in the deep end, covering assize courts, magistrates courts and so on, but I was fortunate that my more experienced colleague John Leech took me under his wing and showed me the ropes.”

Mr Gaylard’s most enduring memory of entering the building in Devizes Market Place was the strong smell of hot lead, as the printing works were behind the editorial rooms at 14 Market Place where they were to stay for the next ten years.

Mr Wheeler insisted that Mr Gaylard learn shorthand and typing so he found himself enrolled at the Devizes School of Commerce.

As a 16-year-old cub reporter, Mr Gaylard made some schoolboy errors. He cycled out to Charlton St Peter, near Rushall, on the hottest day of the year to interview a woman who was celebrating her 100th birthday.

He recalled: “I knocked on the door and it was answered by an elderly lady. I explained who I was and congratulated her on her centenary.

“She replied, I’m not 100. That’s my mother. She upstairs in bed, she’s deaf, blind and doesn’t want to speak to you. And she slammed the door in my face. So I had to cycle all the way back without my story.”

No date has been set for the funeral, and details will be announced via funeral directors Winchcombe in Devizes.