I HAVE had the true pleasure of knowing and working closely (very nearly every day) with Margaret, TCW’s sub-editor, for nearly five years now, and she never ceases to surprise me. Though sometimes it’s as though we have our evening drink together and wake up together (virtually) and probably are in touch with each other more than with anyone else, I have yet, I suspect, to plumb the depths of her talents and abilities.
Yes, she is a great grammarian, I soon learnt that. Yes, her writing style and ability is far superior to many of the journalists and commentators she’s subbed over the years. Yes, I learnt too by the first Christmas of our acquaintance, she is not just musical but has a deep knowledge of the classical repertoire. Hence our Classics on Sunday series.
A year in and I was beginning to feel a cultural klutz. With Margaret, there is always more to come I’ve found. Thanks to her – and the BBC should thank her too – was our brilliant series The Lost BBC, which reminds me is high time for a repeat!
To add to that (and her daily subbing of everyone else’s output) over the last couple of years she has engaged our readers with her delightful Notes from the Sticks, revealing yet other dimensions to her knowledge and skills – natural historian and photographer!
It’s all been enough to give me an inferiority complex, and that was without seeing her name in print across the pages of the Mail on Sunday this weekend. There she was telling a fascinating tale of her teenage Beatles recording initiative for which EMI has much to be grateful, as have all Beatles fans.
You can read her wonderful account here of those special early Beatles tracks that, but for her, would not have been recorded for posterity. And here is a longer version on the website she runs with her husband Alan, also a multi-talented TCW stalwart with a completely different set of musical tastes.