Mike Hambleton dedicated more than four decades of his life to reporting the news in Didcot.

Born in Wokingham on September 2, 1939, Michael - known as Mike - passed the 11 plus and went to the local grammar school.

Leaving school after completing A levels, Mike moved to Reading for two years and then to Didcot, where he became a reporter for the Didcot Herald at the start of the 1960s.

It was a job he loved, and Mike worked for the Didcot Herald for 43 years, only leaving when he retired at the age of 64.

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He grew to know the town, surrounding villages and their residents extremely well, often finding his way to a story armed only with a map, torch and a supply of coins so he could call the story in from a local phone box.

The nature of his work meant that Mike became well acquainted with every aspect of Didcot life, gaining a deep knowledge of the local political scene.

A skilled reporter, Mike also learnt to be a talented photographer for the paper and an excellent typist.

Oxford Mail:

He spent many hours at the Didcot Herald office – then opposite the railway station – often working late into the night and most weekends to meet print deadlines.

Mike married Julia in 1969 and they lived in the village of Aston Tirrold.

His daughter Emaline was born on November 29, 1970.

The marriage ended in 1976, and in 1979 he married again, to Victoria.

By then Mike had a house in Didcot, and he, Victoria and Emaline lived there, his daughter attending the local girls’ school.

The marriage to Victoria ended in 1990, and Mike continued to live in Didcot.

Up until his retirement in 2004, Mike devoted himself to reporting for the Didcot Herald, and after retiring, to fill the time he suddenly had, Mike developed a great interest in antiques.

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He became well known in all the local charity shops where he hunted down many fine pieces of glassware and pottery.

He approached antique collecting with the same dedication he had applied to his reporting career.

And he loved to build collections that he then sold at local sales rooms.

Mike’s beloved mother died in 2005, and he began to spend more time at his family home in Wokingham, travelling back and forth between there and Didcot and staying in touch with his close circle of friends.

Reporters who followed in his footsteps in Didcot would often be told: “I saw Mike Hambleton the other day,” and for many years after retiring he would phone the newsdesk with tip-offs on the latest stories he had discovered.

Mike lived with cancer and COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) for many years, but gradually both took their toll on him.

His trips to Didcot became less frequent, eventually stopping altogether.

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He spent his last years in Wokingham, Berkshire, where he was visited by his daughter, her husband and his very beloved granddaughter.

He remained as always a great conversationalist.

He liked to spend many hours talking on the phone and “chewing the fat” with friends and family.

Mike passed away on November 23 at The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

He was 82.

He died of cancer with his daughter by his side.

Mike will be sadly missed, and fondly remembered by all who knew him.