A well-known author who started her career as the only female reporter on a regional newspaper has died aged 83.
Barbara Hooper, whose married name was Brown, was best known for her biographies of Laurie Lee and poet WH Davies.
After completing a degree in English at London University’s Westfield College, Barbara started her writing career as a reporter at the Gloucestershire Echo in 1950.
Her husband Kenneth said: “In those days it was formidably difficult for a woman to break into journalism but Barbara became the Echo’s only female reporter in December 1950 and loved the work, travelling all around the area on her bike and sometimes in the Echo delivery van.”
The couple met when Kenneth got a job on the Echo and they married six years later.
Barbara went on to work as a radio and TV news reporter for the BBC in London during which time she interviewed famous people including Richard Burton and Spike Milligan.
She stopped working as a reporter when she had children, and her first book written in the 1980s was the story of the Cheltenham to Banbury railway line.
She also wrote a biography of Mary Stocks, principal of Westfield College, plus two novels but is best known for her biographies of WH Davies and Laurie Lee.
Barbara had many interests and was a keen member of the W.I, as well as volunteering for the National Trust.
She was also active in politics, being elected as a Liberal Democrat councillor on Three Rivers District Council while in Hertfordshire and as president of the Stroud Liberal Democrats in 2005.
A service of remembrance and thanksgiving was held in Bisley, Gloucestershire on 10 May in Barbara’s memory.