Dr Bernard Palmer writes:
A VALUED former member of the Church Times editorial
staff, Margaret Daniel, died on 11 February. She was the widow of
the Revd Michael Daniel, and the mother of five children. She,
joined the staff in 1974, and became the editor's secretary.
Although she came in on only two days a week (Tuesdays and
Thursdays), she contrived to cram into those two days almost as
much work as a full-timer would have managed in a full week.
She was very much more than a highly competent shorthand typist
(though she was certainly that). She could keep my would-be critics
at bay on the phone indefinitely, or charm an article out of the
most reluctant contributor.
She could also write like an angel, and would exercise her
literary talent in both signed book reviews and innumerable
unsigned shorter notices, combining shrewd critical judgement with
a refusal ever to be unkind or malicious as an author.
Not the least of her many qualities was to act as an agony aunt
to the office staff, devoting endless lunch hours to sorting out
their emotional problems for them.
John Whale, my successor as editor, was unable to persuade her
to stay on as his secretary beyond the end of the year 1989. The
paper was the poorer for her departure.