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Regional journalist who covered D-Day landings dies aged 89

Marjorie NightingaleA regional daily’s first female reporter who reported on her patch’s involvement in the D-Day landings as a teenager has died aged 89.

Tributes have been paid to Marjorie Piggot, née Nightingale, who worked on what was then the Dorset Evening Echo for a number of years.

Marjorie, pictured left, joined the Echo’s advertising department aged 17 and was swiftly promoted to a junior reporter role.

During the Second World War, Marjorie reported for the Echo throughout Dorset’s involvement with the D-Day landings and sadly lost her older brother Philip, who was killed whilst serving on HMS Norfolk in the Russian convoys.

While at the newspaper she also interviewed British-born Hollywood star Michael Rennie, known for his role in The Day The Earth Stood Still, amongst many other household names.

She met her husband Ron, an RAF serviceman, while on a day trip to the Isle of Wight. The couple had two children and later founded a driving school in Weymouth, as well as opening their own DIY shop.

Later Marjorie established a school for overseas students, many from Europe and Japan, after graduating with an Open University masters degree in English literature in her 50s.

Her son Raymond, a retired teacher, said: “At the age of 89 one of Mum’s greatest daily pleasures was to read The Echo.

“Even when the news was grim she relied upon the paper to keep her in close touch with the town and the region that she loved.”

Current Echo deputy editor Samantha Harman told HTFP: “Marjorie lead a very interesting life and looking back through her stories has been fascinating. It’s nice to know that even at 89, she was still reading and enjoying the Dorset Echo.

“Marjorie’s son Ray told us that she never thought of what she did as particularly special or pioneering. But women like Marjorie paved the way for others and her contribution, however small she may have deemed it, helped bring about the equality we have in the newsroom today.”