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Regional daily’s first ever female reporter dies aged 90

Kath GoslingA pioneering journalist who became a regional daily’s first female reporter has died aged 90.

Tributes have been paid to Kath Gosling, left, who spent her entire career with Stoke daily The Sentinel.

Starting out as an editorial assistant in the newsroom, she asked to become a reporter but was told “we don’t have women reporters at The Sentinel”.

However, after writing a front-page story about a school break-in she was finally given a trial by the then editor, Norman Beckett.

Kath finally landed her first official reporting job in 1967 – and saw her wages jump from £3.50 a week to £20 a week.

She went on to become editor of The Sentinel’s women’s page.

Her daughter Caroline Boyd told the newspaper: “My mum was really well-known in the area back then and becoming a reporter was a massive breakthrough at the time. She did so many things to make herself become something.

“She retired at the age of 60 from The Sentinel but carried on with her writing until a couple of weeks before she died. She kept in touch with friends on Facebook and was still reading newspapers – she embraced all of the technological changes.

“She wouldn’t take no for an answer and she did indeed become a reporter. She was very well-respected and very well-known, she led a great life.

“She adored her job. She loved writing – keeping all her clippings – and she interviewed a lot of famous people back in the day. She was an extremely interesting woman to have as a mother and she will be extremely missed.”

Kath met her sports journalist husband Norman at The Sentinel and they had three children – Jill, Celia, and Caroline.

Celia worked for the Leicester Mercury and Wolverhampton’s Express & Star before her death at the age of 39.

Former Sentinel sub-editor Terry James said: “Working with Kath was a privilege. Her sensitivity, humanity and writing ability gave her a respect among her readers that journalists of the modern era would envy.

“She was given three weeks by the editor to ‘try out’ the idea of a women’s page and it ran for more than 15 years, and surveys showed it was the most-read article in the paper.”

Kath’s funeral takes place at St Chad’s Church, in Bagnall, Staffordshire, at 11.30am on Wednesday 28 March.