TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Cumbria’s best known – and respected – senior local journalists, Sue Crawford, following her death aged 65.

In a newspaper career that spanned more than 40 years, Sue worked for both the News & Star and The Cumberland News, completing a lengthy stint as news editor for both titles.

Her integrity, talent and professionalism earned her respect from colleagues and readers alike as she threw herself into a career that put her at the heart of key events in Cumbrian life.

After taking voluntary redundancy in 2017, the Dalston-born journalist worked as a freelance writer and editor, setting up Sue Crawford Media, and her work included contributing many articles to CN’s business magazine In-Cumbria.

She also went into local politics, becoming a member and officer of the Carlisle Labour Party and for a time serving as a Labour Carlisle city councillor for the city’s Currock ward.

Sue died in the early hours of Tuesday morning at Eden Valley Hospice after a long and brave battle with cancer.

Her husband Phil Taylor, also a former CN Newspapers journalist, and her only child, daughter Freya Whitfield, were at her bedside when she died.

“Sue was a remarkable woman,” said Phil. “She firstly battled back after being diagnosed with breast cancer in Easter 2014. She bravely recovered from that but then two and a half years ago she was told that secondary cancer had returned in her liver and hip.

“She was only given a few months to live, especially when she then caught pneumonia and was hospitalised for two weeks, but with amazing courage and good spirit she defied the odds, right up until a month ago when she was firstly admitted to the Cumberland Infirmary after an internal bleed, and then the hospice.

“Her nickname at Reiver House where she was treated for both cancers was Lazarus because they were amazed by how she kept defying the odds and bouncing back.

"She never thought she’d ever get to see her second grandchild Toby, but she was with the rest of us back in April, celebrating his second birthday,” added Phil.

“I know she was very, very popular with so many people and she was an excellent, yet modest, journalist who was a fearless champion of the freedom of the press and how it was vital to stand up for the person in the street. And she was a brilliant mother, amazing grandma, my best friend and a wonderful wife.

“Simply irreplaceable.”

Former Carlisle City Council Leader Colin Glover worked with Sue when she was a fellow Currock councillor.

“Sue was incredibly respected in every aspect of her life,” said Colin.

“She was always determined to do her very best for people and what always shone through from Sue was that she cared about people, whether that was in her professional life or in her politics.

“She was a ward colleague in Currock and in that role she showed how much she wanted to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

“She was passionate about working for the local community and was chair of Currock Community Centre. People were what was most important to her. She had a very caring nature and did everything she possibly could to make a difference."

When she was elected as Currock ward councillor for Labour in May, 2018, Sue polled more than twice the votes won by her nearest rival.

Colin added: “Her time as a ward councillor was short-term but even so she had a huge impact. She continued to chair the community centre until she felt she could not do it any longer.

"It was devastating news when she told us she was ill. She was always so positive.  She had such a positive outlook. This is very, very sad news for all of us.”

Funeral details will be announced in the near future.