Bawburgh Voices: Rob Anthony

 

Mary Wilkinson meets Rob Anthony, the new Editor of the Bawburgh News. Rob lives on Stocks Hill, with his wife Fiona, sons James (19) and Harry (12) and daughter, Eleanor (5) (taken from Bawburgh News January 2017).

 

How long have you been a reader of the Bawburgh News?  

Ever since we moved here in 2000.

 

 

What do you like about it?   

 

It's a nice eclectic mix - news of village events, articles, features. You can dip into it and always find something.
 

How did you come to take on the role of editor?

 

I heard Betty was leaving and I've always wanted to do something for the village. I've done desktop publishing for many years. I was inspired by Bawburgh School's weekly newsletter to start writing one myself when I was teaching at the Hewett school. I don't think I'll have time to chase stories or write much myself, but I'm very happy to use my desktop publishing skills. I love Bawburgh News. I want it to continue.

 

What do you think will be challenging about following Betty's footsteps?

 

How to keep the essence of the magazine going, and at the same time sensitively move on. I believe 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'. It's about getting the balance right. If you look back you can see it gets a 'refresh' every so often, without being too radical. It's a bit like being the third Doctor Who! There are expectations and I want to do a good job.
 

Since you first moved to Bawburgh do you think the village has changed much?

 

There has been a bit of a change, such as infill housing, but it hasn't changed fundamentally. There's a strong community. It's a nice place to live.
 

What would you like to change? And what would you like to keep the same?

 

I'd like cycle paths and more pavements, faster broadband and slower traffic! But still retain its 'villageness', sense of community and rural aspect.
 

What do you see as the advantages/disadvantages of living here for your children?

 

They've appreciated being able to walk to primary school, feel part of the community, and walk to see their grandmother. But once at secondary school they can't go by bus or bike to visit friends. There's a sense of isolation, though they can 'see' each other via the Internet.
 

Can you tell me more about your career in teaching, and what you enjoy about it?

 

I've been teaching Maths for 27 years. I'm at Framingham Earl now. No day is the same. I love the moment when a kid says 'Oh, I get it!' There is pressure, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. I get annoyed with the media putting young people down.
 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

 

Projects such as decorating, DIY, family history, computer games (not shooting ones!), computer programming. I take Harry climbing at the Sportspark and Eleanor to the theatre.
 

If you were marooned on a desert island what would your chosen book be?

 

I'm an avid reader of fantasy and thrillers. Just let me take my Kindle loaded with books and a solar-powered charger!
 

Who in public life do you admire, and why?

 

When I was a student at the UEA 30 years ago I heard Des Wilson and Shirley Williams speak. Des Wilson made me feel I wanted to get into politics because there he was, taking on issues single-handedly, campaigning for Freedom of Information and lead-free petrol.
 

Who has been the most important influence in your life?

 

Fiona, my wife. Absolutely. I've learned an awful lot from her. She's very intelligent and I respect her opinion. She's my best friend.
 

What is the best advice you've been given?

 

I've had lots of good advice. It all shapes you. My dad used to say, 'If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well.' I hold to that. I try to do my best. I'm not going to take something on if I don't think I can do the job.
 

How would your family/students describe you?

 

Fiona would say. 'Very bad with time'. I hope my students would describe me as, 'Firm but fair'.
 

Can you tell me something surprising about yourself?

 

I collect scientific equipment (such as slide rules) and old maths books (I have a trigonometry textbook published in 1760), and I once won a ballroom and Latin dance competition with Fiona with our cha-cha, long before Strictly Come Dancing was popular!

 

Thanks Rob. I've enjoyed getting to know you as our new editor, and I'm sure the readers will too.                                        Mary Wilkinson

 

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