RETIRED editor and general manager of the Leigh, Tyldesley and Atherton Journal Fred Pinder has died aged 85.

Mr Pinder was found in the bathroom of his home in Hendon Street, Leigh last Friday by police who broke in after a concerned curate raised the alarm.

His younger son, Stuart, told the Journal that his father had suffered a heart attack at home on September 15. He spent three weeks in hospital then returned home where he appeared to be recovering well and was planning a holiday at Torquay.

Born in Longridge, near Preston, Fred Pinder's grandfather owned Rose Mill on the banks of the canal at Leigh. There he met his wife, Betty, who was a secretary at Rose Mill. She died in 1980 and they had two sons, Ian, who is a doctor and lives near Pontefract, Yorkshire and Stuart who works for Mersey Tunnels in Liverpool.

Mr Pinder took over as editor of the Journal in 1956 after progressing through the editorial ranks at the Journal's sister publication the Bolton Evening News. After a quarter of a century as editor he was made general manager and held that post until his retirement over 20 years ago.

During the war he served as a Warrant Officer in the Army and was based in Scotland and the South of England.

A keen traveller he spent much of his time abroad and particularly enjoyed visiting Malta and Spain.

The funeral is next Wednesday at 1.15pm at Leigh Parish Church followed by cremation at Howe Bridge.