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Tributes paid to ‘larger than life’ weekly newspaper legend

A former weekly journalist who was expecting the birth of her first grandchild next month has died aged 66.

Tributes have been paid to Linda Piper, left, described as a “larger than life” character and a “legend” of the News Shopper, which circulates in South-East London and Kent.

Linda spent 19 years at the paper – “whipping young reporters into shape and holding Bexley Council to account” in the words of one former colleague – before retiring in 2011.

Prior to joining the Newsquest-owned title in 1992, she spent many years with the Kentish Times.

Julia Firth, a former colleague, said: “It was an honour working with Linda. She was such a huge character and a matriarch figure in the newsroom, looking out for young journalists.

“She was greatly admired by all for her tenacity and fastidious attention to detail.

“Passionate about her work, she would never give up until she had got to the bottom of the story. She’d leave no stone unturned – even if it meant working late into the evening, which she often did. She will be greatly missed.”

Linda had moved to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, in Northumberland, after retirement, and had recently completed a history degree at the Open University prior to her passing.

She also sat on the island’s parish council, and worked with its development trust and archive group.

Linda was partner to Colin and mother to her children, Morrigan and Kyle. Her first grandchild, a girl, is due in May.

A remembrance service will take place on Holy Island, on 13 May.

6 comments

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  • April 29, 2016 at 8:50 am
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    Truly a privilege to have known Linda. We worked together on the Kentish Times. We were also colleagues in the NUJ. She was a truly honourable person who fought for a better deal for others. My condolences to Colin and her children.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 10:13 am
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    Linda was easily one of the best journos I have had the privilege to work with while we were both at News Shopper. The copy above, taken in most part from the News Shopper itself, does justice to her work as a reporter but it’s worth mentioning her excellent work as the MoC.
    She held the council and employer to count when it mattered and many of her colleagues were the better for it.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 11:27 am
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    Sad news, sorry to hear about Linda, a superb local journalist and champion of her editorial team.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 2:44 pm
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    Sad news indeed. Linda and I worked the same patch in south-east London back in the 70s and were close friends. Her sound journalistic work is well recorded and highly respected and her influential role in the NUJ was equally valuable. But it was her humanity and sense of fun that made her such a lovely person.

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  • April 30, 2016 at 7:15 am
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    As a rigerous sub she surely would have preferred “before her death” to “prior to her passing”.

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  • April 30, 2016 at 9:02 am
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    HAPPY memories of attending branch meetings with Linda when working on the South East London and Kentish Mercury in the 1970s and seeing her at various ADMs afterwards. Always caring and competent about union and work matters but still managing to devote time to her much-loved family. My deepest sympathies to her loved ones and many friends.

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