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Roy Bustin, first editor of the News, dies

Published: 31 Jan 2014 09:300 comments

THE first editor of the Bracknell News has died two weeks short of his 85th birthday. Roy Bustin was the youngest editor in the country, aged 29 when the News launched in 1959.

Roy Bustin was editor of the News from 1959-80.

He began his journalism career aged 16 as a trainee reporter on the Reading Mercury and – bar a period of National Service in Germany from 1947-49 – stayed in the profession for more than 30 years.

After returning from Germany he returned as the Bracknell district reporter on the Berkshire Chronicle, now the News’s sister paper the Reading Chronicle.

With the town growing quickly, owners the Reading Newspaper Company believed a dedicated paper was needed for Bracknell.

They approached Mr Bustin and Bert Melhuish, and the first Bracknell News was published on February 5, 1959.

The News quickly established itself as the town’s leading newspaper and Mr Bustin remained at the helm until 1980. He then decided on a total change of career and went to work in the care industry, first at the now defunct Church Hill House in Bracknell and then later for Wokingham District Council.

He continued to live in the area and spent 20 years in All Saints’ Close, in Wokingham, before he moved into Warren Lodge care home in Finchampstead, for the final 18 months of his life.

He died on Sunday at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, aged 84.

Maurice O’Brien, editor of the Reading Chronicle, paid tribute to Mr Bustin’s work ethic.

He said: “Roy was an old-fashioned journalist whose week was not finished until the paper had been put to bed.”

Mr Bustin leaves a widow, Barbara, 80, three children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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