Rarely seen without his trademark cap, Ken Hurst was a man of many talents – but it would be a love affair with words that called to him time and time again. 

Despite pursuing a career in art, after completing a course in graphics at the London College of Printing, it was a career in journalism in which Mr Hurst found himself. 

From covering a mining disaster in Africa to being the face of the Eastern Daily Press business desk, his voice became a much-recognised one in Norfolk. 

Diss Mercury: Ken Hurst winning an award

Mr Hurst was born on June 11, 1947, in Colliers Wood, south London. He remained here until he completed his studies at the London College of Printing. 

After graduating, he embarked on brief professional forays into cartography, technical illustration, and graphic design before settling on a lifelong career in journalism. 

Mr Hurst began working as a reporter in London before getting involved in weekly newspaper production in Zambia, in central Africa, during the 1970s. 

By this time, he had been married and would become a father of three. 

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On returning home to England during the mid-1970s, he began working for newspapers and magazines before heading up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division - a legacy which can still be seen in Aviva's logo today. 

Despite being headhunted for this esteemed position, he returned to journalism during the 1990s becoming a freelancer, co-owning the audio magazine Sound, and fronting the BBC radio programme Yesterday’s Papers. 

Then followed six years as business editor at the EDP, under the editorship of Peter Franzen. He would work as a freelance columnist, writing more than 200 up until 2012. 

He also became the chair and co-owner of TNT Multimedia and publisher TNT magazine both in the UK and Australia, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business, and a former editor of WM Magazine and The Manufacturer. 

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In 1987, he met his partner of 35 years, Jo Gilbert, 77, during a game of badminton between friends.  

She said: “Whatever he did, he did well. He would do everything to the best of his ability and would not take failure for an answer. 

“He has left an amazing legacy and I miss him greatly.”  

Diss Mercury: Ken Hurst's iconic Norwich inspired art work

It was thanks to retirement, and David Hockney’s pioneering iPad art, that Mr Hurst returned to his beloved art.  

Before his death, he discovered that the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich would be selling some of his prints. He was also due to be chair for the Norfolk and Norwich Art Circle. 

Kirstie Steadman, of Norwich Art Shop, paid tribute to her friend and business partner. She said: “He was such a wonderful chap in every respect, and he will be sorely missed by everyone that knew him.  

“He was a great artist, friend and wonderful person who will be missed and remembered fondly and with great respect. I will miss his passion for art.   

“Sympathies go out to his family and everyone that knew him. RIP, Ken.”  

Diss Mercury: Ken Hurst pictured with artist Hannah Nelson

Mr Hurst was also active; a keen cyclist and runner who spent several years with Bungay Black Dogs and he completed the Amsterdam Marathon. 

He was also involved in village life in New Buckenham, near Attleborough, taking part in a local amateur dramatics group and once appearing in a performing role alongside his partner at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

Mr Hurst died on Monday, May 8, following a short diagnosis of cancer, and leaves behind his partner, five children, grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. 

His funeral took place on Thursday, May 25 at 3pm at Greenacres in Colney, Norwich.