Human interest: Folkestone and Sandgate turn out in stellar send off to former BBC space writer Reg Turnill
By Ray Duff
Around 150 people including veteran BBC broadcasters joined family, friends and local dignitaries at Reg Turnill's funeral at St Paul's Church, Sandgate on Friday (8 March).
The service commenced with a playing of Walton's 'Spitfire Prelude and
Fugue', which marked the fact that Reg served as an RAF-Warrant Officer in
WW2 and was followed by prayers and the hymn, The Lord is my Shepherd.
From then on Reg provided detailed reports of all Russian and US space missions and covered the series of Apollo craft which culminated in the Moon landings.
Janine Umbers, artist & Sandgate Society, portrait of Reg Turnill (Oct 2012) adapted for the funeral service.
He and wife Margaret were frequent visitors at Houston and Cape Kennedy where they built up a formidable reputation, including the fact they endeared themselves to everyone for their devotion to taking tea! Reg also interviewed every Apollo astronaut; and many others; and went on to be the only UK journalist to win NASA's 'Chronicle Award' for his coverage on the Space Programme.
He was famously
known for breaking the story of the Apollo 13's near disaster spending
several days largely without sleep to bring the story to the world. For this
and much else he was held in high regard by the US Press Corp.
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