AddThis SmartLayers

Weekly’s first female editor who ran title for 26 years dies aged 85

Yvonne EvansA weekly newspaper’s first female editor, who ran the title for 26 years, has died aged 85.

Tributes have been paid to Yvonne Evans, pictured, who spent her entire career at the Bury and Radcliffe Times.

Yvonne became the first woman to run the paper when she took over from Harry Spencer upon his retirement in 1973.

She retired in 1999.

Former colleague Neil Brandwood, who organised her retirement event, told the Times: “She was incredibly proud of being the first female editor of a newspaper in the UK. She was even interviewed on Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 on the subject.

“All of us who worked with her couldn’t help respecting her. And she became a wonderful friend. Yvonne belonged to the old school where if you did something wrong you would be told in no uncertain terms.

“But when she paid you a compliment, you knew it really meant something. She made all of the young professionals she worked with better journalists.

“I visited her at her home four weeks ago and she was in fine spirits. She had a wonderful sense of humour.”

Yvonne had joined the Times in 1955 after graduating with a degree in English from Manchester University.

Lynda Dunlevy, who worked with Yvonne in the 1960s, said: “Yvonne was a superb professional. She loved wearing gorgeous clothes – Mary Quant was her favourite.”

It is understood Yvonne died as a result of a fall on her stairs at her home on Monday 18 May.

She was found by niece Laraine Darlington, 73, who visited Yvonne regularly throughout the week.

Laraine said: “She was a much-loved aunt, great aunt and great-great aunt. If she had a point of view, she wouldn’t hesitate to make it known in a very strong voice, despite her small physical stature.

“She was in a healthy state, in body and mind, and she was planning to take us out on a family meal after the coronavirus lockdown was over. And she always treated the family to a meal out at Christmas.

“She was a wonderful, generous person, who always told us to let her know if we were struggling. We will all miss her.”

Her second niece Glinys Horton, 70, was also a frequent visitor to her home.

Glinys added: “Yvonne was very keen on amateur dramatics and was a member of Prestwich Thespians after leaving university.”

Yvonne leaves her two nieces, a great-nephew and a great-niece, four great-great nephews and a great-great niece.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be made and there may be an inquest into her death.