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Memorial service held for pioneering journalist who died aged 100

Barbara Buchanan 1A memorial service has been held for a pioneering female journalist who died at the age of 100.

Friends and family gathered in Bristol to remember Barbara Buchanan, pictured left, who won Britain’s Woman Journalist of the Year in 1967 for her crusading features in the Bristol Evening Post.

Barbara died on 4 March this year, having celebrated her 100th birthday on New Year’s Day.

During her career she always worked at the now-defunct Bristol Evening World, where she was made the first female trainee news reporter in 1933, and was credited with saving lives through her campaign for cervical cancer smear tests.

While at the Post she was known for her forthright campaigning and also wrote a lighter personal column called Saturday Chatterday.

Her other claim to fame was that, while freelancing in London in the 1930s, she once threw a glass of beer over “drunken and obnoxious” poet Dylan Thomas in a Soho bar.

The service was at held on Friday at St Stephen’s Church in Bristol, where Barbara married her second husband.

Her son Quentin Williams told mourners: “She was lovely, generous and the house was always full. She was a strong and decisive woman, and could stand up for herself when she felt she needed to.

“She was also a great interrogator – sometimes to the embarrassment of her children. I would describe her as a matriarch, and she was the glue that held us all together.

“Mum was a very special person. We will miss her. She had a fantastic run and she made the best of it.”

Former Post colleague Quita Morgan added: “She was the pioneer who led female journalists who have worked in newsrooms across Bristol since then.

“Later, as a mother of two, it became a proud boast that she took a typewriter into hospital, because even giving birth would not put her off her work.

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to have known her.”