Friday, 17 September 2021

Standard man who delivered the news

A STALWART of the Henley Standard passed away at the Royal Berkshire Hospital on Easter Sunday, aged 64.

A STALWART of the Henley Standard passed away at the Royal Berkshire Hospital on Easter Sunday, aged 64.

Ivor James was known to many as the man who delivered the newspaper to shops in and around Henley.

He was affectionately known by his colleagues as “The Bullet” because of his speed in collecting the papers from the printers in Newbury and then delivering them.

Mr James, who lived in Mount View, Henley, was born on Boxing Day 1948.

He joined Higgs Group, publishers of the Standard, on January 4, 1965, aged 16. He signed a five-year apprenticeship as a letterpress printer on August 1, 1966.

Mr James regularly attended the Berkshire College of Art in Reading for training as a compositor from 1965 to 1969.

From April 1, 1980, his job description changed to machine operator and relief packer/van driver.

About three years later he became a proof reader, having taken an aptitude test at the Thames Training Group.

In June 1984, he completed a First Aid training course for the company and remained qualified throughout his time with Higgs.

Mr James left the company in May 2009 as his health began to deteriorate. A farewell party was held at the former Queen’s Head pub, now the Beer Tree, on the corner of Greys Road and Duke Street.

He returned periodically as holiday cover for van driving duties and, occasionally, proof reading.

However, his health continued to deteriorate and he finally ceased working for Higgs on June 30, 2012.

Mr James was a keen sportsman and a member of the former Stuart Bowls Club in Fair Mile for more than 10 years.

He enjoyed watching Henley Town FC play at home and wrote match reports for the Standard.

Mr James was also a member of the Salisbury Club in Queen Street and the congregation at St Mary’s Church.

The love of his life was Tanya Baker but they never married. She died in 2007.

John Luker, honorary president of Higgs Group, said: “Throughout the time that I was involved with the management of the company, Ivor was an incredibly loyal employee.

“He always did what was asked of him to the best of his ability and remained remarkably cheerful despite many setbacks with his health.”

Phil Buckett, who knew Mr James for more than 30 years, said he was a “polite and well- mannered man” who enjoyed going on company outings.

The funeral will take place at the crematorium off Henley Road, Caversham, at 3.15pm next Friday (April 19).

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