Newspaper co- founder dies of cancer aged 64

Tom Maitland SUS-140309-184244001
Tom Maitland SUS-140309-184244001

A pioneering co-founder of a weekly newspaper has died from cancer at the age of 64.

Entrepreneur Tom Maitland passed away at his home in France surrounded by his family after battling against cancer of the oesophagus for several years.

The father-of-two set out on his epic newspaper mission in 1973 setting up the

The four had just £1,600 to start up their ambitious business in a former hairdressing salon in Queen’s Arcade in the town centre.

They eventually moved to a purpose-built premises in Gresley Road on the Castleham Industrial Estate in St Leonards.

Each week they hired a van and at one stage were driving to Bristol and sleeping in it overnight while the paper was being printed.

They then drove back and delivered them to their distributing team. The business thrived and at one stage had up to nine journalists and separate editions covering Rye and Battle, Hastings, Bexhill, Eastbourne and Lewes.

In 1983 Tom sold his share in the business to his colleagues and pursued a career as a councillor. He was elected as a Labour member for Hollington but only spent one term in office.

Tom also worked as a part-time freelance sub for the

They later moved to Normandy where they both taught English as a foreign language. In 1992 they set up their own school and were able to develop their own approach to language teaching.

They set up schools in Rouen, Le Havre, Caen and Compiegne teaching languages including English to French students and also business people.

On the back of these businesses they developed the highly successful brand ‘French in Normandy’ to teach French to foreigners.

This school is recognised as the finest institution of its type after winning the prestigious Study Travel Magazine award in five consecutive years as well as many other international awards.

Dave said: “Tom’s approach to his editorial responsibilities was heavily influenced by Harold Evans, whose

“Tom’s stint in local politics was by his own admission a trying and frustrating episode. He was a very dogged chap but always a good friend to people. I went over to see him before he died and was with him when he did. He will be very sorely missed.”

The family has requested that anyone wishing to send floral tributes instead donate to Tom’s favoured charity, Heart, which supports a children’s home in Malindi, Kenya. email at