A former local newspaper editor who covered some of the biggest incidents in a town’s history has been killed in a car crash.
During his time at the paper he covered the Wisbech floods of 1978 in which one person died and a quarter of the town went underwater, and the Harrier crash in 1979 in which two men and a boy were killed.
Roger was killed on Monday in a two-vehicle collision on the A47 Wisbech bypass on the Cambridgshire/Norfolk border.
After joining the paper, he became sports editor for 11 years and then editor for 21 years, succeeding his father. He took early retirement in the 1980s when the Thomson group took over from the previous owners, the Sharman family.
Brian Asplin former editor of the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard said: “Roger was a genuine lover and supporter of Wisbech.
“I worked with him during his 21 years as editor and he always fought for what he thought was good for the town. He was in charge of the paper during its most successful period.
“He was a good leader and a good ambassador for the paper and the people. He continued that when he became a successful councillor.
“Being a newspaper man, he shunned the headlines and worked diligently and gained a well deserved reputation.”
“One big decision that absolutely staggered me was when Bowthorpe Maternity Hospital was threatened with closure, and we were looking for something special to do in the battle to save it.
“Roger called with an idea – to have a picture on the front page of a baby being born. I told him it couldn’t be done, the hospital wouldn’t allow it. But we did it, and it was superb.”
Journalists trained by Roger, also a former talent scout for Reading FC, include Bob Crawley, editorial director of Archant London, Chris Lakey, head of sport at Archant Norfolk, and Simon Caney, editor-in-chief of Sport magazine and talksport.co.uk.
Outside of his work, Roger was chairman of Fenland Council’s planning committee and a member of the Golden Age Committee which is earning national recognition for its work among the over 60s.