Tributes have been paid to former Wellington Weekly News editor Chris Alder after he died on June 7, 2023, at 71 years of age.

Chris was born in Winchester and later moved with his family to New Maldon in 1959 - where his life revolved around Scouts and St James' church choir, where he was known for his clear treble voice.

He went regularly, with his brother, to Heathrow to watch the planes arriving and departing or trainspotting on the railway bridge in New Maldon. He had a lifelong love of steam trains and completed the Stage 1 Steam Engineman's course on the West Somerset Railway.

He had the ability to pick up and play almost any instrument and his guitar was always with him. He loved blues music, jazz and Eric Clapton to name a few.   

He did a journalism course in Fleet Street, beginning as a junior reporter in Hayes, Middlesex and worked up via Portsmouth School of Journalism to the Surrey Comet, Leicester Mercury, PR manager at Leicester constabulary and senior management roles at BT and IBM.

Chris could write, sketch, paint and play all sorts of instruments, sing and read music. He took photographs, did woodwork and regularly made the frames for his paintings.

He moved to Somerset in 2000 and worked firstly for the Somerset Gazette and then as Editor of the Wellington Weekly News.

Chris worked as the editor for the Wellington Weekly for around a decade, before leaving in 2015. 

Barry Knott of the Wellington Weekly worked with Chris for eight years. Mr Knott paid tribute to Chris as an effective editor and valued colleague. He said: “I began working with Chris in 2007. It was with great sadness that I and the team at the Wellington Weekly learned of his passing. 

“Chris was passionate about keeping our community well-served by high quality local journalism. Under his leadership the newspaper never failed to deliver on that mission. 

“Colleagues and I offer our condolences and give our thoughts to the family of Chris at this time.” 

Chris joined the choir at St Mary's church in Bridgwater and then Bridgwater Choral Society where he met Julia.  They were married in 2008 and were very happy.

Although he has left a considerable body of work, the destructive cruelty of Lewy Body dementia and his rapid decline only highlights his unfulfilled potential.  The quiet years would have been enjoyed painting, travelling and seeing his grandchildren grow and thrive.

He will be missed by all who knew him and especially his family.