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Ex-editor of British mainland’s northernmost newspaper dies at 81

Bete McArdleA former editor of the British mainland’s northernmost newspaper has died aged 81.

Tributes have been paid to Bette McArdle, pictured left, who edited the John O’Groat Journal and the Caithness Courier during her career.

Bette later moved on to head up the Highland News Group as its editor-in-chief.

Former Scottish Provincial Press sub-editor Colin Campbell worked with Bette in the 1980s, when she held the editor-in-chief role.

He told the News: “She was an exceptional journalist who worked tirelessly for the paper and was much-liked and respected by her colleagues.

“With a wide range of contacts, she was also genuinely interested in so much going on in and around Inverness. She’ll be warmly remembered as someone who made a big impact on journalism in the Highlands.”

Originally from Ayrshire, Bette began her journalism career in Caithness in 1975.

She moved to the Highland News in 1986, where she remained until her retirement in December 1999.

After retiring, she edited the community newsletter for the Merkinch area of Inverness, a role she continued until last year.

Dell McClurg, chairwoman of Merkinch Community Council, said: “The newsletter was excellent. It was a really good read and so well read. She never really put her pen away. She was always out and about in the area with her wee camera taking pictures.”

Bette died at the Royal Northern Infirmary, in Inverness, following a long illness.

She leaves four sons, two daughters and nine grandchildren.