Born: December 13, 1960;

Died: April 14, 2021.

PAMELA Wilson had worked as a personal assistant for the renowned hotelier and restaurateur Ken McCulloch, and as a part-time secretary in The Observer’s Scottish office, before she applied for a job at the Glasgow Herald.

The Herald was a busy place when Pamela arrived at its offices at 195 Albion Street, some thirty years ago: Arnold Kemp was the editor, Harry Reid his deputy, and the newsroom over which they presided was, in the finest traditions of the trade, a virtually unceasing hive of activity. It was, as Pamela’s husband, Roderick, recalls, a truly vibrant office.

Pamela, who has died at the age of 60 after suffering from a rare form of lung cancer, managed to be the secretary to not one but two of the Herald’s departments, business and sport, working for such distinguished names as R.E. Dundas, Alf Young, and sports editor Eddie Rodger and his staff.

“She was very polished and refined for what was at times a fairly robust newsroom atmosphere”, one former colleague recalls with affection. “She was always immaculately dressed and proper in her speech.

“She was very good at handling the occasional difficult caller to the business and sports desks. She was calm and unruffled and never let anything get to her. She was very sociable, too”.

Alf Young himself recalls: “Assisting department heads as contrasting as Ronald Dundas and Ronnie Anderson could not have been easy. But she handled the mostly male journalists on both desks with a quiet but determined finesse.

“I also remember her quiet but calm assurance on days when the news was big and fast-moving and tempers were fraying as deadlines approached”.

“She loved her job there”, Roderick says of her 12 years’ service. “The Herald was a very big part of her career and, over a glass of wine at night, she would talk with affection of her colleagues and the stories they worked on”.

Alex Salmond used to file a column to the paper, and it was Pamela, recalls Roderick, who would take his words down by telephone. She also remembered visits to Albion Street by the colourful tycoon R.W. ‘Tiny’ Rowland, when his company, Lonrho, owned the newspaper.

Pamela was born to Andrew and Rae Mitchell, who lived on Menock Road, in the King’s Park area of Glasgow. Her maternal grandmother was a cousin of Sir Alexander Fleming; her father was a retail dairy farmer, with a family-run farm in Rutherglen.

Pamela played on the farm with her sisters, Alison and Fiona, and on Friday evenings she collected the milk money from her King’s Park neighbours.

She was educated at King’s Park primary and, from the age of 12, at the Park School for Girls, where she became deputy head girl.

She spent a year doing secretarial studies at Galashiels College before embarking on her career as a PA, starting with Hewden Stuart, the plant-hire firm, and then with Ken McCulloch, who in later years would become known as the éminence grise of the Scottish hospitality industry.

Eventually she took on a part-time job at the Observer office before arriving at the Herald.

Her next employer after she left the newspaper was ScottishPower, where she was PA to the main board of directors, and enjoyed a three-day working week.

She then moved to Learndirect Scotland, having been brought on board by Frank Pignatelli, a former director of education in Strathclyde.

She subsequently worked for Glasgow Housing Association, responsible for the paperwork relating to a sheltered housing unit on the Southside. Once, spotting that an elderly resident was looking unwell, she summoned an ambulance; the old lady suffered a number of heart attacks en route to hospital, but eventually made a full recovery.

Her final place of work was at the logistics group of W.H. Malcolm, as PA to managing director Andrew Malcolm, a family friend.

She met Roderick Wilson, her husband-to-be, in a Glasgow wine bar in 1982, having been introduced by none other than Ken McCulloch. They were married in August 1985, in Old Cathcart Parish Church. They bought a 20-acre farm in Howwood, Renfrewshire, where over three years they painstakingly renovated three listed buildings. “She loved her time on the farm”, he recalls.

Pamela died peacefully in Inverclyde Royal Hospital on April 14. The funeral took place at the end of the month at Clyde Coast and Garnock Valley Crematorium.

“She was a very kind person”, Roderick adds. “She spent a lot of time with her four nieces, all of whom were very important to her.

“She was a great cook, and she enjoyed walking her dogs on the farm.

“We took holidays on Skye over twenty or thirty years, and often visited Mull and other islands. For her fiftieth birthday I bought her an Old English Sheepdog, and she doted on him”.

Pamela remained friends with many of the people she met while working for McCulloch, but her favourite job was with The Herald.

“She said it was such a vibrant place”, recalled Roderick. “It was the best time of her secretarial career. It was colourful and busy, and for her there was never a dull moment – not one in all the years she was there”.