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Shop owner who went on to become features editor dies aged 83

Margaret ClarkeA former coffee shop owner who went on to become a weekly newspaper’s features editor has died aged 83.

Margaret Flannigan, who was more commonly known under her maiden name of Clarke, ran the features desk at the Ayrshire Post after entering journalism later in life.

Margaret, pictured, began working life in a bank in Kilmarnock before moving to Ayr with her first husband Bill O’Hara.

There, she ran a boarding house, children’s playgroup and later the Sandpiper Coffee House throughout the 1970s and early 80s.

Margaret then sold the business and decided to follow in the footsteps of her father Eric, who had provided satirical cartoons for the Post, by joining the paper in 1985.

At the Post, work by her second husband Les Flannigan, a photographer, would often appear alongside her features.

An obituary in the Post states: “Sadly Les died in 2008 but Margaret continued to enjoy a happy life with many dear friends who visited her flat near Ayr beach, where she loved to walk.

“Latterly Margaret lived with Alzheimer’s Disease with her son Dougie, family and friends working tirelessly to keep her independent.”

Margaret passed away peacefully on 25th January and her funeral will take place at Ayr’s Masonhill Crematorium at 2pm on Tuesday 21st February.

Attendees are encouraged to wear bright colours “to reflect Margaret’s nature”.