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Colleagues' tributes to 'legend' of local journalism

Former colleagues of a long-serving local press journalist have paid tribute to a ‘journalism legend’ who has died.

Avril Law’s career in journalism spanned four decades, the lion’s share of which she worked for Peterborough’s Evening Telegraph.

Among her roles at the Johnston Press daily were women’s editor and campaign columnist – penning consumer column ‘Checkout’ for five years – which won a national journalism award for tackling rogue traders.

Avril’s late husband Frank was also a former football editor at the Evening Telegraph and sister weekly The Citizen.

Former Telegraph editor Alex Gordon said she was one of the best and longest-serving reporters he had ever worked with.

He said: “She was very well-known in the city and very much a legend in journalism, especially in terms of her feature writing.

“When I arrived in the 1970s she was women’s editor before moving into special projects where she was well-respected for her insight and her unparalleled local knowledge.”

Avril, who was in her 70s, was also an active member of the National Union of Journalists, a local school governor and a member of an independent board which monitored prisoners’ welfare.

Retired Telegraph photographer Graham Lowndes, who took the pictures at her wedding, added: “Avril had a massive interest in Peterborough and even in retirement she took a great interest in the city and was one of the busiest retired people I know.

“I vividly remember us sitting in the old newsroom where we would listen to the football on the radio and we used to post the scores in the window, we used to get quite a crowd. Her passing is like the end of an era in local journalism.”

  • Avril, who died on 15 January after battling breast cancer, is survived by her brother. Her funeral takes place at 1.30pm on 2 February at Peterborough Crematorium. Donations are invited for the breast imaging department at Edith Cavell Hospital, in Peterborough.
  • Comments

    Alan King (26/01/2010 14:42:31)
    One my first day in journalism [in August 1954] Avril Law [then Avril Wardleworth] taught me the most important lesson for a young reporter – how to fill in an expenses form. Although I left Peterborough in 1965 – retiring as Managing Editor of the Bristol Evening Post in 1998 – we remained friends with Avril and Frank. Both are missed. The fact that they never left Petrborough was a great plus for the city.

    Nick Fletcher (02/02/2010 11:22:07)
    Avril, you were a true lady and a consummate professional. You will be sadly missed by all who knew you on Angling Times.

    Keith Higginbottom (17/03/2010 15:54:51)
    Avril, you were a professional of the highest order and a true lady. A privilege indeed to have worked with you