The selfless man with the comforting voice
PUBLISHED: 12:46 19 April 2011
Derek James pays tribute to Peter Foulsham, who helped bring the headlines to thousands of people thanks to his tireless work for the Chatterbox talking newspaper for the blind.
His was a voice so familiar to so many people – he helped to bring the news to thousands over the years – broadcasting from a tiny studio in Norwich.
Week in and week out for more than a quarter of a century Peter Foulsham was a leading member of the team producing and reading the Chatterbox talking newspaper for the blind, made up of stories from the Evening News.
Earlier this month Peter, a former Evening News unsung hero in 2004, who was honoured for his work with Chatterbox, died in Papworth Hospital.
“He was,” said Meg Muggridge, a founder of Chatterbox, “a kind and generous man who gave so much of his time to helping the talking newspaper over so many years”.
A Norwich man, Peter was born in 1930. Married to Lyn, they lived at Thorpe St Andrew and had a daughter Leslie, son David and a number of grandchildren.
He spent most of his working life at the Automobile Association at Thorpe Road, where he worked as a breakdown and information service supervisor – and that involved helping people with a wide range of problems.
He developed his communication skills with the AA, working alongside the likes of the late great Roy Waller, and got involved with Chatterbox at its birth, more than 30 years ago.
“Week in and week out Peter and Lyn were helping to produce Chatterbox. He was so reliable and hard-working and he did such a lot of work behind the scenes working on other projects,” said Meg.
A few years ago he was singled out as one of the unsung heroes of Norwich and took centre stage at the Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards ceremony supported by the Evening News.
He was one of the group of individuals praised for countless years of devotion to the community.
Each week he helped to produce hundreds of tapes, packed with news and views from the pages of the Evening News, which were sent to blind people across the city and county.
“It gave me great satisfaction. You don’t always get the chance to help 900 people every week,” he said. When he received his award from the Lord Mayor of the day, Chris Southgate, he said: “It’s been great fun. It’s a nice feeling to get this, but you don’t do it for recognition. You do it because you want to.”
Peter’s funeral service will be at St Faith’s Crematorium on Wednesday April 27 at 11am. Donations can be made to Chatterbox, via Gordon Barber Funeral Home, 2 St Williams Way, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, NR7 0AW.