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‘Outstanding’ old-school regional journalist dies

Tributes have been paid to an ‘outstanding’ and well-respected reporter who has died after a long battle with illness, aged 61.

Sheila Elgey, was best known for her role as assistant editor on the Malton and Pickering Mercury, where she worked for more than 20 years.

She was also a regular contributor to the Scarborough Evening News, Hartlepool Mail and Sunderland Echo. During her time, she also trained many reporters towards their NCE senior qualifications.

Sheila, who was chief reporter at the Hartlepool Mail’s Peterlee office for several years died on Monday 2 April.

Ed Asquith, editor of the Mercury and its sister title the Scarborough Evening News and editorial director of Yorkshire Regional Newspapers said: “Sheila was an outstanding local reporter, and a real character.

“She had tremendous knowledge of the area and earned great respect.

“She was an old-school journalist, very determined and passionate, as well as good company.

“Sheila remained indomitable to the end and never lost her sense of humour and quick wit.

He added: “She is missed by many friends and colleagues and, I know from comments I have received, by the whole community.”

Sheila is survived by her husband, Tony, and daughter, Caroline.



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  • April 5, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I never had the pleasure of knowing or working with Sheila but my condolences and warmest wishes to go her family, friends and colleagues.
    I did wonder, though, if she would have smiled – or perhaps been annoyed- by having the accolade ‘old-school journalist’ attached to her memory.
    This over worked, tired, banal appendage applied to journalists of a certain age or from a particular era has reached epidemic proportions in HTFP reporting. Can it please stop now?
    The notion that different values applied to when journalists such as Sheila and the author of this comment first began work and those starting out now is absurd and belittling.

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  • April 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I was a very raw trainee when I was sent to Peterlee to work with Sheila. She picked every piece of copy I wrote to pieces. Did I ask this, did I ask that, if not,why not … Sheila, as any good journalist should be, was a stickler for accuracy.
    As Chief Reporter, Sheila knew everyone on her patch. She had excellent contacts, her knowledge of local affairs was immense. Boy, she was sharp, and woe betide anyone who crossed her.
    Once you had been accepted by Sheila, the woman hidden behind the haze of Gauloises was extremely warm-hearted and very, very funny.
    My condolences to Tony and Caroline.

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