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Phyllis Vinicombe

Posted: June 6th, 2008

Phyllis Vinicombe: 1914-2008

A Tribute by Stephen Thomas, Nephew

Phyllis (Phyl) Vinicombe, who was proud to have been employed by the Daily Mirror for 44 years (1930-1974), died at St Pancras Hospital on 6th June 2008 aged 94 years.

She joined the |Mirror in 1930, aged 16 years as a shorthand typist, on of only two women in the Newsroom at that time. She became firm friends with Dot Watson who was the first woman employed full time in the Newsroom and who became the News Editor’s (Ken Hord) secretary for many years. Phyl later became secretary to Noel Whitcomb – the popular columnist – and worked with him for some 30 years, initially at Fetter Lane and then at Holborn Circus, until her retirement in 1974.

Phyl was very interested in photography and became very good, thanks to the help of Mirror photographers, Henry How and George Greenwill. They often used Phyl in Mirror photos such as “girl drinking milkshake in a hot spell of weather”. She had numerous photos published in various magazines associated with the Mirror – especially those involved with cats and dogs of which she was a great lover.

After leaving the Mirror she spent many years working for the RSPCA with Harmsworth Hospital, which became nationally well known with the series “Animal Hospital” on BBC1. In her last years she was still helping animals by fund raising activities.

Her other passion was Cornwall – she was at one time Chairman of the London Cornish Association and an Honorary Vice president until her death. Her coffin was draped in the Cornish tartan and her service concluded with “Trelawney” the Cornish “Anthem”.

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