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Trailblazing regional daily women’s editor dies aged 99

Betty RainsfordA trailblazing female regional daily journalist who served as its women’s editor for 20 years has died aged 99.

Tributes have been paid to Betty Rainsford, who served in the post at the Belfast Telegraph for two decades.

Betty, nee Lowry, worked as a reporter on the Bel Tel from 1956, having been told at interview by then-editor Jack Sayers that she “would have to do all kinds of reporting, but you’ll not be sent to the courts or any all-male gatherings”.

She took on the women’s editor role in 1961, and held it until her retirement in around 1981.

Former Bel Tel editor Roy Lilley described Betty as a “talented lady”.

He added: “It was a privilege to know her and have her as a friend and colleague.”

Betty was married to decorated serviceman Lt Col (Ret) Bathoe Rainsford.

She died on Christmas Eve at the Bangor Fold sheltered housing facility where she’d lived for a number of years.