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Journalist celebrates 60 years with regional press publisher

A journalist who helped found a regional daily in the 1960s has celebrated 60 years  in the industry – all of it with the same company.

Shirley Tart has worked for the Midland News Association for six decades in total, and was among the founding staff for the Shropshire Star – serving as the newspaper’s first women’s editor in 1964.

Now 76, she is still hard at work as royal correspondent for the Star and its MNA sister daily the Wolverhampton daily the Express & Star, and is also associate editor of the Shropshire Magazine.

Her long career was recently commemorated in a lengthy piece in the Shropshire Star by feature writer Toby Neal, who himself has clocked up 40 years in the industry.

Shirley Tart

Shirley, pictured above after receiving an MBE for services to journalism in 2005, began her career on the Wellington Journal & Shrewsbury News in August 1957, aged 16.

She told HTFP: “It is indeed hard to believe that it has been 60 years since I started what has been a wonderful and very privileged career in newspapers.

“I have travelled widely and interviewed many well known names including politicians, celebrities and so on as well as covering all the big fashion weeks in capitals like London and Paris.

“I do believe that our strength in the regions still lies in the grass roots and the people we serve so it has been an added bonus that I have worked through all these years with the same company – and 12 editors.”

She added: “It was a great privilege 12 years ago to receive an MBE ‘for services to the newspaper industry’ and also to be appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Shropshire – my home county.

“But none of it would have been possible without the support and backing of the company, the fellowship of so many colleagues down the years and the many ‘contacts’ who became close friends.”

Shropshire Star editor Martin Wright said: “To still be working in journalism after 60 years is a remarkable achievement. It is a privilege to be working alongside Shirley, whose commitment and enthusiasm to the role are extraordinary.

“Over the years, she has covered just about every aspect of life in and around Shropshire and she remains a hugely popular journalist for the Star. Indeed to many people in the county, Shirley is the Shropshire Star.

“Shirley is a key member of the team – and I hope this continues to be the case for many years to come.”

She is pictured below interviewing the future Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the mid-70s.



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