Tributes to retired newsman, 86

Tributes have been paid to a former journalist who spent nearly half a century working on newspapers in the West Midlands.

Roy Roberts, who worked as a sub-editor on the Express & Star, died on December 27 at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford after a period of illness. He was 86.

With wife Marion, he also kept the Malt Shovel pub in Highley, near Bridgnorth, from 1983-85.

His journalistic career began in 1949 as a 15-year-old apprentice with the former Walsall Times, which was based in Hatherton Street.

He joined the Dudley Herald group in 1956, working as a reporter based at its offices in West Bromwich and Wednesbury.

Two years later he joined the Express & Star as a district reporter based at the Bilston and Wednesbury offices. He moved to the newspaper's head office in Wolverhampton in 1961 where he worked as a sub-editor until 1967.

He then moved to the Birmingham Evening Mail, where he remained until his retirement in 1997. During this time, he also reviewed amateur-dramatic performances.

Following retirement he and Marion moved to Galmpton in south Devon, where Roy occasionally contributed to the local free weekly paper, the Brixham News.

After periods also living on the Isle of Man and Preston, near Paignton, the couple returned to Shropshire in 2012 when they bought a house in Newport.

Former Express & Star picture editor Geoff Wright worked with Roy as they both began their journalistic careers in the 1950s.

Geoff remembered him as a cheerful, fun-loving character.

"I worked with Roy when we were both at the start of our journalistic careers, he then worked on the Midland Chronicle, which was part of the Dudley Herald," he said. "He was a happy-go-lucky-type."

He was married to Marion for 41 years, and also leaves a stepson, Stuart and stepdaughter Lindsey. He also had three step-grandsons, Christopher, Jonathan and Cameron, and a step-great-grand-daughter Elizabeth Rose.

Marion said he remained a newsman right up until his death.

"He enjoyed travelling, we went on many cruises, and he was interested in gardening," she said.

"He loved reading about local events, he was always a newsman, it was his life. He loved his job and had many happy memories."

She said he was also well-known from the time they kept the pub.

"It was great fun," she added.

The funeral arrangements are to be confirmed.

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