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Weekly’s 60s newsroom inspires ex-reporter’s book

Marilyn ChapmanA former daily reporter has made a journalist the protagonist of her debut novel.

Marilyn Chapman (nee Brown) drew on her time as women’s page editor of the Lytham St Annes Express, in Lancashire, for Baggy Pants and Bootees, which follows the story of Yorkshire-based cub reporter Sophie in the search for her long lost father.

Marilyn, pictured above, began her journalistic career at The Gazette, in Blackpool, as a general reporter in the late 1960s, before moving to the nearby Express.

She later freelanced for national newspapers and magazines including the Daily Mail and Woman.

Discussing her inspiration for the novel, which is set in the 1960s, she said: “Instead of doing reports on the Women’s Institute, I was standing on my metaphorical soapbox and burning my metaphorical bra.

“Journalism back then was almost exclusively male territory, but women were beginning to make themselves heard.

“I focused on women achievers rather than conventional cookery and fashion features, and not everyone approved.”

Baggy Pants and Bootees is currently available from and on order from all good book shops.