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Tributes to 'much-respected' reporter who gained MBE

Sheila GowA reporter who spent more than half a century with the same newspaper group and was awarded the MBE for services to journalism has died.

Tributes have been paid to Sheila Gow, pictured left, who spent 54 years with the Courier Media Group, in Kent and Sussex, and was responsible for training generations of young reporters.

Sheila started her career as a trainee reporter on the Tonbridge edition of the Kent and Sussex Courier and worked on many of the group’s titles, including a lengthy stint in Edenbridge.

Even after leaving full-time work at 65, she continued to report on East Grinstead on a part-time basis and was nominated for the MBE in the 2010 New Years Honours list.

Sheila was diagnosed with terminal cancer three years ago and passed away on 30 December, just short of five years to the day since her award was announced.

Former East Grinstead Courier editor Geraldine Durrant paid tribute to her colleague.

She said: “We became not only colleagues but dear friends, a friendship which endured for the remainder of Sheila’s life.

“Sheila was much-loved by everyone who knew her and never a young reporter’s birthday went by but she baked one of her famous cakes to celebrate it in the office.

“She was also much-respected – an accolade not always accorded people in our profession.

“Her knowledge of the town and its history was extraordinary and irreplaceable, her accuracy in reporting unparalleled – and she could spot a misplaced apostrophe at 20 paces.

“But if she reported with tenacity, she was also personally and professionally kind and courteous – one of those people of whom it could truly be said that had there been more of them, the world would indeed be a better place.”

Sheila leaves behind her husband Peter, son Duncan, daughter Melanie and their families.

Her funeral will take place on Thursday at 3pm at St Peter’s church, Fordcombe, Kent.

There will be a short service at the Tunbridge Wells crematorium at 4pm for close friends and family only.


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  • January 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    It’s a sad fact that in 50 years no-one will be writing the same tributes. The Industry is vastly different now and reporters more mobile. Reporters like Sheila have always been gold dust because they know their patch so well and can put stories in context. Too much news in local papers in superficial and hollow and betrays a thin, if non-existent, knowledge of the area. RIP.

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  • January 12, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    How sad. She looks lovely – the sort of person you’d happily tell your story to and know it would be treated with care. Condolences to Sheila’s family. xx

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  • January 13, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Respect & Scribbler, thank you so much for your kind words.

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