Former reporter still making news at 100

A FORMER East Anglian Daily Times journalist was joined by friends and members of his family as he celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday.

Elliot Furniss

A FORMER East Anglian Daily Times journalist was joined by friends and members of his family as he celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday.

Edward “Ted” Robinson, a resident at The Firs care home in Felixstowe, vividly recalled his long and varied reporting career, including his time spent covering the disastrous East coast floods of 1953.

He said: “It has been interesting - never been monotonous - and when working for the newspapers there's always something happening.”

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Mr Robinson started his career in 1924 as a cub reporter aged 14 with the Suffolk and Essex Free Press, based in Sudbury, and served a five-year apprenticeship.

He moved on to work for the Bury Free Press in 1929 and later worked on its Newmarket sister paper before the outbreak of the Second World War temporarily halted his career.

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After a spell in the RAF working as an airfield controller in India, Burma and Malaya, he returned to Bury in 1946 before moving to Felixstowe two years later to work as the chief reporter for the Felixstowe Times.

His most memorable experiences were reporting on the tragic floods that claimed the lives of many of the town's residents and some of his leading stories were printed in the national papers.

He said: “That was the worst job and the biggest job I did, the floods of 1953. It was a tragic story. I remember when I used to get up in the morning I would make the journey to the police station and to the cemetery to see how many more had been found.” Mr Robinson later moved to the head office of the East Anglian Daily Times newspapers group, which was based in Carr Street at the time - a “quite distinguished place, with a tower on it.”

He worked for a spell as a night sub-editor but found that the hours did not suit him so moved back to the Bury Free Press as features editor, later becoming editor of the Newmarket Journal. He later returned to work in Bury before retiring in 1975.

Throughout his working life he maintained his interest in natural history, photography, gardening, stamp collecting and amateur radio - at one time he was close to the top of the UK list of confirmed radio contacts.

His hobbies continued into retirement but, as the years progressed, the more physically demanding naturally fell by the wayside. Mr Robinson was joined at his birthday party by his two sons, Michael and David, and many of his four grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren while a special cake, spelling out the number 100, was shared around.

Mr Robinson has lived at The Firs for a decade, moving in after a few years of living on his own following the death of his wife Grace in 1997.

The couple had married in 1934 and moved around wherever Mr Robinson's career took him.

He put his longevity down to a diet of fresh fish and spending time with his family whenever possible.

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