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Shropshire Star man Frank, 89, pegs out – in his own words

By Toby Neal | Market Drayton | News | Published: | Last Updated:

A veteran journalist who covered some of Shropshire's major news stories of the 20th century has died at the age of 89.

Frank Fuller

Frank Fuller was for many years the Shropshire Star's chief reporter in Market Drayton, and had written for the paper since it was launched in 1964, later becoming a full member of the Star staff.

His nephew Joe Fuller said: "I know that Frank took enormous pride in his career as a journalist at the Shropshire Star and held a great allegiance to not only the paper but to the area and the people it serves.

"Since his early retirement he took an active interest in the community and was involved with the local Rotary club and Probus.

"He would still describe himself to me as 'Journalist, Shropshire Star (retired)' and said that he would love to see, but never would, an obituary covering some of his working life with the heading: Frank Richard Fuller Pegged Out On..."

Frank, from Market Drayton, died at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. He is survived by his wife Shirley, and his stepchildren Tim Yates and Penny Andrews. The funeral is at Telford crematorium on November 11 at 12.30pm.

Frank was the reporter on the spot in Market Drayton for almost 30 years.

In a career spanning over 40 years, of which almost 30 were reporting in Market Drayton, he covered stories such as the notorious Lesley Whittle murder of the 1970s, a 17-day siege at Weston-under-Redcastle, and the devastating outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the late 1960s.

Born in Ipswich and brought up in Wellington, Frank achieved his boyhood ambition when in 1946, aged 16, he was taken on as a junior reporter with the Wellington Journal and Shrewsbury News in days when the offices were lit by gas lights.

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His career was interrupted for two years when he was called up to serve in the Royal Army Service Corps as a clerk and secretary. On his return to the paper he progressed to take on responsibility for the Newport area.

In December 1957, Frank was appointed reporter in charge at Market Drayton, a post he held when the paper became the North Shropshire Journal. In his early days in Market Drayton his stories were typed up there and then carried by railway to Wellington.

Frank contributed to the first copy of the Shropshire Star at its launch in October 1964, and continued to supply stories for both papers until he was transferred to work full time for the evening paper.

Reflecting on his career, he said: "There is one thing that hasn't changed despite all the modern technology – we can't replace the good reporter with a notebook, no matter what anybody says."

He retired due to ill health – he had diabetes – aged 57.

He had been a member of Market Drayton Rotary Club and an honorary life member of Market Drayton Amateur Operative and Dramatic Society. He was also in the Royal British Legion.

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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