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Edwin Thomas Portwin

2nd of March 2007

(Ted Portwin)
2 November 1912 – 16 December 2006
In 1966 Ted Portwin and his family moved from Watford to Braziers, Chipperfield and in 1978, they moved into Little Braziers, a more accommodating bungalow, which he had built in the grounds of the larger home. He finally retired in 1992 at the age of 82. Two years ago his wife Elizabeth died and after seventy years of marriage, Ted was lonely.
Ted remained in good health, marred only by deafness, and enjoyed his passion for gardening and opera. Fortunately, he was only incapacitated for a short while before his death just prior to Christmas. He had been well looked after by his immediate family of four children, eleven grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren. His recipe for a long life was one of hard work and dedication, which he clearly exemplified.
Ted was born in Islington, won a scholarship at the age of 11 and, on leaving school, joined his father in Covent Garden, where he learned about the cut and thrust of trade while selling flowers from 4.00 o’clock each morning. He went on to study writing at evening classes and, through early interest in wireless technology, became proficient at reading Morse Code at 20 words a minute. All this led to a job with a new Wireless Trader magazine. He even interviewed John Logie Baird, the inventor of television at the time of the Crystal Palace fire. Ted claimed he changed his name from Portwine to Portwin when he was offered a job on the Methodist News, a journal that opposed alcohol! As a sideline, Ted wrote short stories for boys’ and women’s publications.
During the Second World War Ted joined the London Fire Brigade as Station Officer, but was soon recruited into Naval Intelligence. It was the years spent in headphones that caused the damage to his hearing. After the war, he went into partnership with the owner of the magazines, which he had previously worked on. After years of expansion, he became Managing Director of six businesses. In 1966 he consolidated the businesses based at Watford into Turret Press (Holdings), one of the largest of its kind in the U.K., publishing over 30 trade and professional journals and organising major national exhibitions..
Ted was a great supporter of Freemasonry and had also been a member of the Rotary Clubs at Hampstead and Watford. He was an articulate man with many stories to tell about life’s experiences. Above all, he was outwardly always placid, calm and without resentment. ‘Exactly the sort of person’, a close acquaintance said ‘I would want as my comrade’.
(Extract from the funeral address)

This page is edited by Tony

1 CommentRSS

Guy Sullivan

Miss you Grandad! I wanted to go to your and Nannies funeral/memorial but my mother didn’t allow it? to this day I still don’t know why. Regrettable. You had a Huge influence on my life and you were always Very generous to me.
Thank You!

July 30, 2019

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