Roy Ackland was born in London, England, and came to WGHP in 1987 from Huntsville, Alabama. He is “Roy” of Roy’s Folks, a popular FOX8 News feature that since 1988 has introduced his audience to some of the most interesting people in the Piedmont and beyond.

The “Roy’s Folks” series on has won several Emmy Awards and Roy continues to look for ordinary people who do extraordinary things. Roy and producer David Weatherly have also been recognized by the “North Carolina Society of Historians” for their work capturing and preserving the state’s rich history.

Roy began his broadcasting career in 1958 in Waco, Texas, where he received his bachelor of arts degree in Radio-TV-Film from Baylor University. He also served four years in the U.S. Air Force. Roy has held a commercial pilot license and skippered a commercial fishing vessel in Alaska.

Roy enjoys fishing, writing and driving his Jeep on dusty back roads.

Recent Articles
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    Man bringing Japanese form of fly fishing to Surry County

    SURRY COUNTY, N.C. — In this edition of Roy’s Folks, meet a guy who is bringing an ancient Japanese  form of fly fishing to the area. It’s called Tenkara and it’s a method of fishing that uses very minimal equipment; a pole, some line and a hand tied fly. Kevin Merritt spent most of his life guiding saltwater trips in Florida but he decided to bring his simplified fishing philosophy to a place synonymous with the simple life, Mayberry. He’s […]

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    Man repairs old shoes to like new in Winston-Salem

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A local business owner noticed a local trend. More people are buying items like shoes and keeping them longer. People are turning towards repairing their shoes instead of throwing them away. One of Roy’s Folks is just the person to help you do that.

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    Take a ride on the iconic 611 between Greensboro and Roanoke this weekend

    This edition of Roy’s Folks is about an iconic old steam engine that will be in Greensboro this weekend. The Norfolk and Western Engine 611 will be taking passengers from Greensboro to Roanoke and back this Saturday and Sunday. The train will be around Greensboro as early as tomorrow and will depart for Roanoke each morning at 7 a.m. A limited number of seats are still available. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the old engine did this type of […]

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    Hanging Rock volunteer keeps park clean

    The North Carolina state park system turns 100 years old this year. There is no question every park is full of beautiful sights and unique opportunities — but what makes each one special is the people who volunteer their time. One of Roy’s Folks is a great example of that kind of volunteer.

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    Hanging Rock State Park walking stick maker

    In this edition of Roy’s Folks, meet a man who makes walking sticks and gives them to Hanging Rock State Park. For a donation of $10 or more, you can pick one up at the park visitors center. He has made thousands of sticks over the years, each one of them unique. The park uses the money raised to fund things that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

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    Model plane enthusiasts from all over gather in East Bend

    EAST BEND, N.C. — This edition of Roy’s Folks is about an event that happened this weekend. Model plane enthusiasts from all over the country gathered at an airfield near East Bend. It was the third annual “Warbirds over East Bend” and featured giant scale models of old war planes that have flown in just about every conflict since the first World War. The event is hosted by the Riverside Aeromodelers Scociety on their field beside the Yadkin River. Seventy […]

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    Thomasville father and son team restore Corvairs

    THOMASVILLE, N.C. — In this edition of Roy’s Folks, meet a father and son who specialize in repairing and restoring and car brand that hasn’t been made since 1969. Bill and Billy McColl operate Chair City Corvair Center. They started the business in Thomasville, thus the name, but now operate out of Lexington. Believe it or not, their services are in high demand. Not many people nationwide specialize in these relics from the 60s.

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    Germanton man designs, builds trails

    In this edition of Roy’s Folks, meet a man from Germanton who designs and builds trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. He carefully plans and constructs these special places in a way that has little impact on the environment and will be sustainable. He’s been involved in trail projects in several states and a bunch right here in the Piedmont.

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    Surry County fiddle player plays ‘Old Time’ music

    SURRY COUNTY, N.C. — In this edition of Roy’s Folks, meet a woman who grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and was a classical viola player. One day Debbie Gitlin happened to hear a fiddle tune on the radio, performed by Surry County music legend Tommy Jarrell. It literally changed her life. After hearing the song she found the nearest phone booth (pre-cell phone days), called the radio station to find out who the artist was and where she could buy […]

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    Davidson County farmer’s asparagus crop coming in earlier than usual

    In this edition of Roy’s Folks, meet a local farmer who grows asparagus. This year, because of the warm weather, his crop is coming in much earlier than usual and that’s a good thing if you like your veggies. He sells the asparagus at his “Persimmon Branch Farm” store daily. It is also sold at Conrad Hinkle Grocery in downtown Lexington.

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    Thomasville man turns soda cans into works of art

    THOMASVILLE, N.C. — In this edition of Roy’s Folks, meet a Thomasville man who doesn’t crush his used aluminum soda cans, he cuts them and glues them. Ken Taylor learned to weld in the Navy and made his living in the sheet metal business. Now that he’s retired he still loves working with metal and one of his favorite things to use is aluminum cans. He turns the cans into all kinds of things.

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    Randolph County man’s ‘Rat Rod’

    RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — In this edition of Roy’s Folks, meet a Randolph County man who loves old stuff. He has quite a collection of antiques, some of them are shiny and some are rusty. He even has several classic cars, but his favorite thing to drive is what is known as a “Rat Rod.” It started life as a 1948 Ford pickup truck but has been added onto and with many homemade accessories. He says it is fun to […]


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