The reporter whose shorthand made a complaint crumble

Peggy Spiers is a great example of why solid shorthand can be so important.

In a tribute piece by her former employer the Grimsby Telegraph, Peggy – who died on 11 September in Nottingham – is revealed as a woman who was given her first break not just for her potential writing skills but also because of her immaculate shorthand note.

The newspaper saw in her not only somebody with flair, but somebody who could be trusted not to land them in hot water.

And this was to be born out during her career, as the piece states:

During her years with the Press Association, Peggy’s assignments would often include world-famous people.

A recent article that she had published in a national magazine brought to life one of her memorable tales from four decades ago.

In it, she recalled ‘royal dressmaker’ Norman Hartnell challenging her reporting of his speech on the future direction of high fashion.

The fashion guru of the time withdrew his complaint on being faced with Peggy’s immaculate shorthand note.

Being able to record accurately, clearly and demonstrably mattered as much then as it does now.

But I wonder how many modern-day ill-brought complaints could be challenged so successfully these days.

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