Shirley Meehan obituary


My former colleague Shirley Meehan, who has died aged 87, was a member of the Guardian’s editorial group in Manchester for nearly 30 years.

She joined the paper in 1969 simply as its 90 Manchester-based journalists have been making ready to maneuver from their authentic imposing dwelling on Cross Avenue to a extra utilitarian base down the highway. She remained dedicated to the Deansgate workplace even because the Guardian’s operation within the north shrank quickly from 1976 onwards, and retired in 1996.

Shirley was an assistant to the information editor Harry Whewell, who, together with his deputy, occupied an interior sanctum (with pet canary). After the information desk moved to London, she supported the small reporting group left in Manchester and later took explicit pleasure in compiling the weekly listing of arts occasions to be lined by critics.

She loved many a primary night time and gallery opening and was particularly pleased with main exhibitions of the work of the Guardian’s Manchester-based photographers Denis Thorpe and Don McPhee. She was additionally a daily on workplace wayzgooses (conventional finish of summer time outings) that sometimes featured bouncy castles and a visit by classic bus to the Lake District.

Born in Manchester, she was the daughter of Annie, a part-time mill hand, and Denis, an iron foundry employee. Each her mother and father had origins in Eire, and Shirley was a Catholic all her life. The household dwelling was in Blackley within the north of town and he or she by no means lived wherever else.

After passing the eleven-plus she went to Notre Dame highschool for women, the place she was a excessive achiever and made lifelong pals.

Her first job was within the data bureau at Manchester city corridor, the place she frequently met reporters on the hunt for metropolis council tales. Within the Sixties she took off with Britannia Airways and have become a senior flight crew member. She cherished the life, the events and notably Beirut, the place she found the songs of the good Lebanese singer Fairuz, however finally swapped it for the Guardian.

In her spare time, with a wheel and kiln, she grew to become an achieved potter, continued her curiosity in trend – she was at all times elegantly dressed – and later created an exquisite backyard at her dwelling. In retirement she cared for her mother and father, nursing her mom till she died at 102. For her personal half, she remained fiercely unbiased to the tip, decided at all times to make her personal selections.

She is survived by a sister, Barbara, a brother, Anthony, two nieces and 4 nephews.


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