Tributes paid to former Rotherham Advertiser reporter and NUJ South Yorkshire Branch secretary Michele Vincent

  • 17 Apr 2024

"Kind and caring" Vincent was branch secretary for two decades

Hundreds of mourners attended the service and tributes for former Rotherham Advertiser reporter and NUJ South Yorkshire branch secretary Michele Vincent, who has died aged 69.

Vincent, who was described as a lover of life and all living creatures, died on February 29 after a short illness. She worked at the Advertiser, under the independent ownership of Garnett Dickinson Publishing Ltd, as a reporter and district news coordinator between 2000 and 2014 – returning afterwards on a regular basis – making many friends across the community.

Michele supporting a Stand Up To Racism national demonstration, with South Yorkshire branch members Alan Yearsley (left), Phil Turner and John Quinn (front)


For 20 years Vincent was secretary of the NUJ’s South Yorkshire Branch.

Phil Turner, former veteran Father of Chapel at the Rotherham Advertiser, said "It was a privilege for me to work with Michele - much of that time sitting across from her on the opposite desk in the Advertiser newsroom. 

"She was kind, caring and compassionate - wearing down even the grumpiest colleague (and that's saying something) with her good humour and legendary politeness. But she was always a principled trade unionist and socialist, supporting the Palestinians and strikes, opposing injustice, racism, sexism and LGBT+ discrimination. 

"As a trainee in 2005, she unhesitatingly joined our Chapel's pay strike - and the picket line - despite the risk to her apprenticeship. As union rep, Michele was the first person to go to for support in a dispute - a dear friend and loyal colleague.

"Michele will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew her."

Julia Armstrong, chair of South Yorkshire NUJ branch, said: "Michele was a dedicated and active member of the union and acted as our branch secretary for many years. She was always an absolute joy to work with and a very caring person, for instance in giving excellent support to an asylum seeker branch member. We all miss her terribly."

Born in Weymouth, Dorset, Vincent attended 12 schools before studying politics at Durham University.

She moved to Sheffield in the late 1980s, working at the students’ union before retraining as a journalist.

Vincent met her partner Geoff in London in 1976. He said: “Above all Michele was a people person, be it with family, friends or colleagues. And strangers, who didn’t feel strangers for long. She might have entered the Guinness Book of Records for the number of birthday cards she sent.

“In the many cards that came to her when she was ill and after her death certain words and phrases were repeated – special, kind, fun, quirky, lovely, funny, loyal, welcoming, generous.”

Their son Richard said walks with Vincent, "would often take a lot longer than predicted as we would have to stop all the time so that she could rescue various things that were in harm’s way, such as slugs, snails, bees, or most often, worms.”




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