Journalist Bob Burgess dies just weeks after retiring

Southern deputy editor Bob Burgess, who was presented with a silver reiver by Scottish Borders Council convener Graham Garvie in recognition of his services to the region in March, died just weeks after retiring
Southern deputy editor Bob Burgess, who was presented with a silver reiver by Scottish Borders Council convener Graham Garvie in recognition of his services to the region in March, died just weeks after retiring

The Borders has lost one of its true characters following the death of journalist Bob Burgess at the age of 64.

Bob had retired at the end of March following a career spanning almost half a century.

He started at the Border Telegraph in 1967 and rose to occupy the editor’s chair from 1978 to 1983 before switching to broadcasting, joining the BBC in Selkirk, then known as Radio Tweed.

Bob returned to print journalism just after the turn of the century when he joined the staff of the Southern Reporter and Selkirk Weekend Advertiser, retiring as deputy editor.

Among the many tributes paid was one from former Borders MP Lord Steel. He said: “I knew Bob Burgess over 40 years, first as a careful and courteous journalist on the Border Telegraph and the Southern Reporter, then later as a loving father to Matthew, and a speaker at local events and a popular figure in the Borders community.

“He will be greatly missed from his pioneering the annual haggis hunt in Selkirk and the Bogie’s Close Stompers, who entertained us all.

“It’s so sad that he did not live to enjoy his retirement. He lived life to the full.”

Berwickshire News and Southern Reporter editor Phil Johnson said: “Bob was a great servant to the Scottish Borders throughout his long career in journalism.

“A talented writer with a nose for a story, he was well connected and highly respected across the region.

“If you needed to know about Borders history or tradition, Bob was always the best the person to ask.

“I am deeply saddened by his loss, so soon after his retirement. He will be missed.”

On his final working day, March 31, he was honoured for his services to the community with the presentation of a silver reiver by Scottish Borders Council.