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Former North East journalist of 60 years dies aged 84

A veteran journalist who reported news in the North East for six decades has died at the age of 84.

Dennis Robinson, left, worked for titles across the region, including The Northern Echo, Darlington and Stockton Times and the Durham Advertiser series, where he became deputy editor.

He left the Newsquest title in 1985 and set up his own freelance journalism business, Dennis Robinson Press and PR: Sedgefield News Agency.

Dennis continued working as a freelance until his late 70s, finally retiring in 2007 due to ill health, and he died in hospital just days before Christmas after a long illness.

He had dreamt of becoming a reporter from a young age and his first job was as an office junior at the former Auckland Chronicle in Bishop Auckland, which he left to carry out National Service with the Royal Air Force.

After leaving the forces, Dennis became a trainee reporter for the Durham Advertiser series and went on to also write for The Northern Echo, the Darlington and Stockton Times and other publications.

He held the positions of chief reporter, district news editor and travel and motoring correspondent, before becoming deputy editor at the Advertiser series.

His wife Barbara said: “He will be greatly missed. He had a long and fruitful life and loved being a journalist.”

Dennis also helped to train young journalists and gave long-standing Northern Echo columnist Mike Amos his first taste of journalism at the age of 13.

Said Mike: “Dennis was covering the football matches in Shildon for the Northern Dispatch. This was in the 1960s – long before the days of mobile phones.

“There was no telephone on the ground and, when I was about 13, Dennis gave me a shilling to run to the nearest phone box 200 yards away and ring the results in.”

Outside work, Dennis was a youth worker and helped to set up a youth club, while he was also involved in Scouting and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

He leaves wife Barbara, son Andrew, grandchildren Anya, Francesca and Ellis, and many friends and relations.