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The last word… is thank you

One of the Derby Evening Telegraph’s most popular columnists has penned her last article for the paper.

Lucy Orgill has touched readers’ lives during the past 36 years and more recently has been writing a weekly column to “tell it like it is”.

She retired as a member of staff at the Evening Telegraph in 1991 after 26 years of service. But since then she has continued with her forthright – and often moving – column.

When Lucy’s son, Matthew, died in 1995 at the age of 33 after a battle against alcoholism, she turned to the column as an outlet to express her grief.

The articles moved many with their frank and truthful nature.

In 1999 Lucy was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo life-saving surgery at the Derby City General Hospital.

She wrote, in a double-page feature to mark her departure: “I’ve had my good times and my bad times during the years and I have shared them all with my readers.

“When you lose your son or when you are diagnosed with breast cancer you feel that you are alone.”

Some of Lucy’s most moving pieces appeared in 1998 on the subject of the demise of a family friend. Known to the world as Tosh Lines of The Bill, Kevin Lloyd eventually died after his own battle against alcoholism.

The tragic television actor had admitted his drink problem to Lucy after hearing about her son’s death.

Lucy wrote an open letter to him through her column offering sympathy and advice based on her own experiences.

But despite the tragedies, she told readers that most of her time with the Evening Telegraph was one of laughter.

After a grounding on the Matlock Mercury and the Derbyshire Times, she joined the Derby Evening Telegraph as Lucy Gates in 1965.

She’s been fortunate enough to interview celebrities as diverse as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Clough – as well as more ordinary people making the news.

Mike Norton, editor of the Evening Telegraph, said Lucy had been an integral part of the paper over the past three decades.

He said: “Lucy has been such an important trait in the personality of the Evening Telegraph that the paper will seem very strange without her.

“I accepted her retirement with great regret – although I am hoping that she will still find some time to write the odd piece for us.”

To read Lucy Orgill’s last column, click here.