Aberystwyth broadcaster and former Cambrian News reporter Ron Lewis is reinventing himself as the author of creative prose, non-fiction and poetry.

Ron, from Penparcau, says his writing has moved on from straightforward news gathering to a more thoughtful approach, taking full account of the way life is influenced by powerful emotions. Much of his work, including four short stories to be published this autumn, is inspired by first-hand experience in 42 years in journalism, including 34 years in independent television.

Ron left Ardwyn Grammar School in 1966 to become an 18-year-old trainee reporter for the Cambrian News. He spent four years as an apprentice in the paper’s old office in Queen Street, cutting his teeth on obituaries and community news. Remarkable characters from an unforgettable decade are described in his new book, Seaside Reporter, Breaking into journalism in the 1960s.

“The breathtaking mid Wales landscape of the Cambrian coast – what a place to live, and what a place to learn to be a reporter!” said Ron.

“I had the privilege of being taught to provide news with a notebook, pencil and a wonderful invention called printed paper.

“There were no smartphones, laptops or fax machines. Long distance phone calls still had to be put through by the operator. But was this the quiet news patch you might imagine? Far from it. Five formative years developed into a rollercoaster of landmark events. Most memorable of all were the personalities and characters of an unforgettable era.

“Those who come to mind include the mild-mannered husband who paid hit men to murder and bury his wife, the jealous guy accused of stabbing to death a teenage girl and her father, a royal reporter who held Champagne receptions on the beach, the drug taking friend of the rich, famous and downright dangerous, the quiet man who pushed coffins on a handcart and the professor who tried and failed to ban the letter K.”

Ron left the Cambrian News for the Western Mail before leaving there to join HTV (now ITV Wales) as a scriptwriter, reporter and programme editor. He also contributed to the Daily Mirror, ITN and the BBC.

“I’ve never lost admiration and affection for those who taught me skills to last a lifetime” said Ron. “The Cambrian News informed and entertained, as it still does today. Local journalists held and still hold communities together, expose local democracy to public scrutiny and give justice the means to be seen to be done. But best of all, it was all great fun!”

In retirement Ron joined a lifelong learning course in creative writing at Aberystwyth University, where he became Student of the Year in 2015.

In 2019, at the age of 70, he gained an integrated Master in Arts Degree with first class honours at the Lampeter campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

In May 2023 Ron’s news coverage of the Llandarcy murders in 1973 featured in the BBC drama series Steeltown Murders starring Philip Glenister.

To buy Seaside Reporter, Breaking into journalism in the 1960s visit Amazon, and to feature in First Person, email [email protected]