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Tributes to former deputy editor who wrote shorthand at 140 wpm

Oswestry deputyTributes have been paid to a former deputy editor who could write shorthand at 140 words per minute.

Betty Duncan, left, served as second in command on the Oswestry and Border Counties Advertizer for many years.

Former colleagues have remembered Betty as a “very popular” journalist who “could always be relied upon to come up with that elusive lead story”.

Former Advertizer editor Sam Evans told the newspaper he had appointed her as his deputy around 50 years ago, and remarked on her “accomplished” shorthand skills.

He said: “She was a knowledgeable and lovely person to work with, a very loyal staff member and a hardworking reporter.”

Stuart Laurie, sports editor at the Advertizer in the 1980s, added: “It was a privilege to work with Betty on the Advertizer. She was talented and knowledgeable and was incredibly helpful to new recruits like me.

“She was one of the most hard-working journalists I’ve ever known and could always be relied upon to come up with that elusive lead story.”

Kerry Roberts, chief photographer for Newsquest’s North Wales coastal titles, recalled her “banging away on her big Imperial typewriter” in the Advertizer office.

He said: “She was a character, she was very popular; just a nice woman who helped the youngsters when they started. She was always very proud of working on the Advertizer.”

Peter Danby, who joined the paper’s editorial staff in the mid 1980s, described Betty as “great fun”.

He added: “She was very nice, quiet but very authoritative. If somebody queried her notes or something like that, she would say ‘memories may fade but a good shorthand note goes on forever.'”

“She was lovely to work with. She liked going out and talking to people.”

After living in Oswestry, Betty, who was in her 90s, moved to Spain with her late husband Graham. She is survived by her daughter Libby and two granddaughters, who also live in Spain.

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  • June 12, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    RIP Betty. A great journalist of the ‘old school’, who really cared

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