Olga English: Kentish Times campaigning journalist

Former Kentish Times reporter Olga English, 64, has died following a long battle with ovarian cancer.

Olga was born in Isleworth in 1938 but when the war started her family moved to Bury St Edmunds to escape the Blitz. It was there that she made her first steps in journalism, cajoling the editor of the Bury Free Press into giving her a chance.

Her family later moved to Mottingham and she secured work closer to home at the Sevenoaks Chronicle.

She joined the Kentish Times in the early Sixties and married John English at Sidcup Register Office in 1963. After taking time off to have her two children, Olga returned to work part-time at the Kentish Times, principally in the Dartford and Swanley areas, working for the then Dartford and Swanley Chronicle.

It was as the Swanley correspondent that she particularly shone, prompting editors to provide the town with its own slip edition, which became the Swanley Times.

She was also a tireless campaigner for justice in the health service, writing a number of investigative exclusives instrumental in giving patients a better deal.

She was also popular with her colleagues, entertaining regularly, and was famous for her chili whorls, a tray of which graced most KT occasions.

Olga retired in 2000, shortly after being honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Shepherd Neame Kent Journalist of the Year Awards.

She leaves a husband, John, and daughters Lucy and Kathryn.

Mick Taylor

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