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Editor’s secretary turned journalist dies at 93

A former journalist who made her name as a women’s editor on a weekly newspaper has died at the age of 93.

Lucy Grimes started out in journalism when she left the Auxiliary Territorial Army to work as the editor’s secretary at the Shields Gazette.

She later moved to sister paper the Northumberland Gazette where she took on the role of women’s editor and was also a general reporter.

Lucy, who was born in South Shields, died peacefully in hospital and former Northumberland Gazette editor Bob Bingham has paid tribute to her.

He said: “When I first came to Alnwick as a journalist, Lucy Grimes was already well-known throughout north Northumberland.

“In those days, not many women were in the profession but she quickly made her name.

“She became adept at cutting Women’s Institute reports from full-page A4 size and more hand-written submissions down to sometimes single paragraphs.

“She believed that every report was well over-written and all the general public wanted to known was the bare details, sometimes adding ‘My reports are much more interesting’.

“The role of women’s editor seemed to last from a Friday, when the Gazette was then published, until Monday night, when Lucy then took on the role of general reporter.

“She could turn her hand to an excellent court report or a council meeting, and had a superb shorthand note.”

Lucy never had a television and spent her retirement reading, writing letters and listening to opera, while she was also a keen supporter of local Conservative associations.