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>> Notices, obituaries and tributes >> Rodney Foster

Message started by Administrator on May 1st, 2023, 12:49pm

Title: Rodney Foster
Post by Administrator on May 1st, 2023, 12:49pm

Rodney Foster, a BBC journalist at Westminster for many years, has died.  He was 84.
He worked as a Political Correspondent, regional political correspondent and reporter on Today and Yesterday in Parliament.  
The funeral will be at Bardfield Saling church, in Essex, on Monday May 15th at 1130 followed by cremation.  Family flowers only with donations to Cancer Research Ltd.

Title: Re: Rodney Foster
Post by Administrator on May 16th, 2023, 11:44am

Rodney Foster, Parliamentary Correspondent
Obituary by Peter Hill

Rodney worked for the BBC for more than 20 years in TV and Radio News, as a valued member of the political and parliamentary team in the Houses of Parliament. His varied duties included presenting ‘The Record’ - the daily parliamentary summary on BBC-2 - and he was a prolific contributor to Yesterday in Parliament on Radio 4.

He was a lobby correspondent for some time, and was attached to ‘Nationwide’ in 1975, when he appeared in a documentary film about it.

Rodney drove in to work from deepest Essex, but was the envy of his colleagues because, as the long-serving Treasurer of the Press Gallery, he was allowed to park in the Commons underground car park. He worked hard, was very reliable, and invariably cheerful. One colleague recalls him saying at the end of a shift. “Fancy a few Vimtos?”

He had worked in the lobby for the Wolverhampton Express and Star and the Daily Sketch before joining the BBC and had good contacts with MPs from the West Midlands, including Enoch Powell, who congratulated him when he first arrived at Westminster. A colleague remembers he had ‘beautiful Pitman’s shorthand’.

Rodney and I both did National Service in the Royal Navy, and it was a lifelong joke that he called me “Commander” and he always signed his Christmas cards “L.S.B.A. Foster” He had served his time in Portsmouth as a Leading Sick Bay Attendant. He had nicknames for colleagues: one was ‘the Governor’, and another with the first name of Preston was stuck for some time with being called ‘Preston change at Crewe!’

Rodney used to live in a lovely old house in Bardfield Saling in an area where many famous artists had lived in the Thirties. After retiring, he continued to play golf, with a handicap of 11, (until he had knee problems); to take part in local amateur dramatics and to play in a ukelele orchestra. He could also play well on the piano. He also found an enjoyable sideline, writing the history of local golf clubs, which were nicely bound and sold well.  

He liked going on cruises; and in 2016 on one of them he met Madeleine Halcrow, a forensic nurse, who became a close friend and brought him new happiness.

Rodney was born in Sutton Coldfield in June 1938 , a first child with several sisters, and went to Grammar School there, and later in Llandudno. His first job was as a cub reporter on the North Wales Weekly News.

At his funeral he was praised for his kindness, his warmth and his sense of humour.

His much-loved wife Joyce pre-deceased him. They had no children. He died aged 84.

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