Obituary: Sheila Whitton, journalist

Sheila Whitton, who has died at 89, was a journalist with the Whitby Gazette whose by-line appeared regularly for more than 30 years.

Sheila Whitton.

Born Sheila Gallacher in Middlesbrough, she attended Beechwood Primary and Kirby Girls’ Grammar before taking up a job as a trainee reporter at Billingham in County Durham.

She moved to Castleton in 1969 and remained in the Esk Valley for nearly 50 years.

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Her first role at the Gazette was as village correspondent, but she soon spread her wings and worked with many national, as well as local politicians. The late MPs Mo Mowlam and Ashok Kumar were among her contacts.

She retired in 1995 but continued to work as a freelance and was still providing copy, from her office in the back bedroom of her cottage in Danby, in her early 80s.

She is survived by her three children, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.