Exmouth TV historian dies

PUBLISHED: 17:45 25 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:45 25 June 2010

Time Team historian Robin Bush, who grew up in Exmouth, has died aged 67.

Time Team historian Robin Bush, who grew up in Exmouth, has died aged 67.

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Time Team historian Robin Bush, who grew up in Exmouth, has died aged 67.

The Oxford History graduate was the resident historian on the Channel Four series for nine years and appeared in 39 episodes of the programme between 1994 and 2003 - presenting eight episodes of Time Team Extra in 1998.

As a boy growing up in Exmouth he lived with his family at homes on the Royal Beacon, Louisa Terrace and Louisa Place.

Mr Bush’s sister, Lindsay Gorman, who works at Devon County Council, said: “He was a great raconteur and a great character. “He did come back to the town to give various talks to groups in Exmouth.”

Robin Bush became involved with the Time Team series through his friend Mick Aston, Somerset’s first county field archaeologist.

A pilot episode was filmed after the pair discussed the idea of devising an archaeological television programme with the actor Tony Robinson.

Robin was invited to take part in 1992 after helping devise the programme’s format with producer Tim Taylor.

He also appeared in Channel 4’s series Joe Public, researching the loss of a hat jewel by Henry VIII, and he appeared as resident historian on Revealing Secrets, transmitted on Channel 4 in 2001.

As a solo presenter, Robin filmed a series of six programmes called The West at War, examining the impact of war on the south-west of England .

Robin James Edwin Bush was born on March 12 1943 at Hayes, Middlesex. He was the son of schoolmaster Frederick Bush and his wife, Moya.

Robin was educated at Exeter School and became interested in historical research when he was 13 while studying the school’s history.

He won a scholarship to read history at Exeter College, Oxford, and graduated in Modern History in 1965.

He was a keen amateur actor - following in his father’s footsteps treading the boards with the Exmouth Players - he appeared on stage at the Oxford Playhouse with Monty Python actor Terry Jones.

In 1965 Robin was assistant archivist at Surrey Record Office at Kingston upon Thames. Two years later moved to Somerset Record Office, where he spent the rest of his working life until his retirement in 1993.

He penned his first book in 1977, and produced the history of Exmouth, Taunton, and Wellington, followed by a series of books about Somerset.

After the publication of three further books in the United States, he met President George Bush at the White House during one of six stateside speaking tours,

In the mid 80s until 1996 he appeared on BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Somerset with stories of local history and folklore.

Robin wrote and narrated son et lumières at Taunton Castle and Glastonbury Abbey.

He toured professionally throughout the West Country portraying the wheelchair-bound Michael Flanders in At the Doff of a Hat.

Robin Bush, who died on June 22, leaves his wife, Hilary Marshall and two children from his first marriage to Iris Reed.

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