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Sixty not out! Reporter celebrates six decades with newspaper

A long-serving reporter is showing no signs of hanging up his notepad after marking an amazing 60 years at the same newspaper.

Denis Robinson, left, joined the Hucknall Dispatch as a reporter after leaving school following a short period at the now defunct Nottingham Evening News.

He remained at the title until three years ago when he initially retired aged 73 after 57 years with the newspaper.

But he continued to write a regular column for the Johnston Press-owned title and then returned as a freelance reporter a few months later.

Former Dispatch editor Richard Silverwood worked with Denis for more than 30 years and wrote a glowing tribute to the veteran reporter in the current edition of the Despatch.

“Sixty years of commitment to his profession and to his local community represent a record of unparalleled dedication,” he wrote.

“It’s a record that has demanded remarkable dexterity and versatility. Whether his assignment has been a murder trial or a garden party, Denis has been at home. And always, he has earned the respect and affection of the general public.

“Three years ago, the Dispatch told him to bring that devotion to duty to an end. We tried to get him to put his feet up. We all turned up for his retirement do, said our speeches, sang our songs and bade our tearful farewells.

“We should have known better. He’s still around. Still trudging from town to village in the pursuit of news. Still enriching the lives of Dispatch readers.

“Sixty not out, Our Denis is still at the crease, hitting advanced technology, social media, the digital revolution, financial cutbacks, redundancies and retirements for six.”

Denis has had to adapt to many technological changes over the years, including making the switch to using a word processor instead of a typewriter in 1986.

And he has managed to carry out the job successfully without driving – walking around 10 miles a week to cover stories and also using public transport.

One of his favourite scoops over the years was an exclusive interview with Margaret Thatcher at the Rolls-Royce Hucknall airfield.

He recalls her answering three or four of his questions but having to write the interview up from memory after his pen ran out of ink.

Several community leaders in Nottinghamshire also paid tribute to Denis who has been a familiar face around Hucknall and Bulwell for more than half a century.

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner and former MP for Sherwood, said: “I have known Denis for well over 30 years and he is an absolute treasure.

“He definitly comes out of his own mould and is a man people know and trust and a great guy to work with.

“Over the years he has written some not so polite things about me but I have always forgiven him as he is always fair.”

Coun Denis Beeston MBE, chairman of the Bestwood St Albans Parish Council added: “Denis Robinson is quite a remarkable fellow; he’s a modest, kind and gentle man who has a wealth of local knowledge; not just a Dispatch reporter, but an Ambassador for the Dispatch area, someone who will put himself out for people too.

“He is a reporter who will go that extra mile for anyone, he’s has a kind and companionate way, he’s a friend to everyone and known by many for being community minded – all the parish councillors hope he will keep up the good work.”


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  • October 28, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Brilliant. Well done that man. Puts my 40+ years and forced redundancy into the shade.

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  • October 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Absolute gentleman and fantastic journalist. I feel very lucky to have worked with him for a number of years. Just don’t mention pink elephant costumes! Congratulations.

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