Tributes paid to former Mercury editor – ‘a great believer in justice’

Jeremy Williams was the Mercury editor from 1980-87.

Jeremy Williams was the Mercury editor from 1980-87. - Credit: Archant

Former Weston Mercury editor Jeremy Williams has died suddenly, aged 62.

Jeremy was born in Pretoria in South Africa, and moved to Weston at the age of 13 with his mother, Thora.

He excelled at languages at Weston Grammar School and at 17, with four A-levels, he secured a job as a junior reporter on the Mercury.

He became editor just seven years later. At 24, he was then the youngest editor of any paid-for weekly newspaper in the country.

It was at the Mercury he met and married Janet, a fellow journalist. He saw the paper change size and format and was proud to oversee the paper’s production, including printing, in the Waterloo Street offices.

After seven years as editor, and with a growing family, Jeremy moved to become public relations manager and then corporate affairs director at Bristol Water.

He was the ‘face and voice’ of the company, until he took early retirement five years ago.

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While at the company he organised charity trips to a Romanian orphanage and campaigned for Water Aid. He was the innovator of the successful company open days, as well as being the force behind the refurbishment of the Victorian beam engine housed at Blagdon.

In 1986 Jeremy became a magistrate and was proud to serve as a justice of the peace for many years. He was chairman of the bench and of the South West Association of Magistrates.

Janet said: “He was a great believer in justice and always believed truth would triumph in the end.

“One of his joys as a magistrate was to sanction adoptions. He always believed every child was entitled to have a good start in life with a loving family.

“Outside of work Jeremy enjoyed cycling with the Weston Wheelers and close friends, but he was, above all, a family man and was proud of his three children’s achievements. Gemma, Gregg and Jessica have all gained degrees and work within fields he believed were important: television, the police and the law.”

His funeral is at Weston Crematorium at 1pm on January 11. Family flowers only but donations to Water Aid may be sent via: The Groves, 115 High Street, Worle, BS22 6HB.