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.