Photo of Tony Newbury and the late Geoff Watts, by Ian Collins, circa 1972. No reproduction without permission.
Photo by John Williams, circa 1974. No reproduction without permission.
Tony Newbury died 20thDec 2018 at the Q.E. Hospital.
The following information about Tony is from John Duckmanton, who was a friend of Tony’s since the early 1970s.
Tony was an electronics engineer, he was in the armed forces before he joined the BBC. He worked at the BBC in the 1960s at Carpenter Rd and Broad St, and then at Pebble Mill. He was an inventive and very practical man who built a house in Evesham with Geoff Watts. This gave him a taste for building, and so he left the BBC and became a builder, building bungalows and houses in West Midlands. Tony was a very strong man. There was a fireplace in the Evesham house which needed to be taken upstairs, about 6 of his friends, including John came round and carried it upstairs, when it was up there Tony just put it under one arm and carried it into the bedroom, as if it weighed almost nothing. He was also famous for his tables. He felt that the legs were always in the wrong place, and therefore designed a table with no legs, which was cantilevered from the wall –and incredibly strong.
John remembers an occasion when Tony built a talkback box in the early days of wireless talkback. He was given a talkback in a flimsy plastic box with batteries that lasted around 30mins and asked to rebuild it. As with many things he over specced the modification, ending up with a much bigger box about the size of a house brick, but it was much more robust and with very long-lasting batteries. On another occasion the problem was an insufficiently bright programme countdown clock, when Tony had finished with it, there were complaints that it was too bright and causing reflections on everything!
When Tony worked at the studios in Broad Street he had an old mini whose sliding windows made it very easy to break into. Tony’s solution was to install a fuel switch under the front seat, so that if it wasn’t pressed the fuel supply would cut out after a few hundred yards. He would regularly go searching for it close to Broad Street, if it wasn’t where he’d parked it, as the thieves never found the fuel switch. Once he couldn’t find it, but the police found it a few days later, but said to him that they couldn’t get it started!
Tony had a kidney removed about 20yrs ago but carried on as strong as ever. Several years back, he had problems with the other kidney and needed regular dialysis, however he didn’t get on very well with dialysis and did not have as much as the hospital thought he should. He died from complications with his kidney condition just before Christmas.