In my research for the current book I'm writing, I've discovered many famous folk who were born in the Borough of Barking and Dagenham. One, is Felicity Green, the brilliant journalist who was the first woman to join the board of a national newspaper. She worked for the Mirror Group in the 1960s, when Fleet Street was an exclusively male environment and London was in full swing. Felicity, who can boast sixty years in the industry, recently spoke of her years as fashion editor on the Daily Mirror. She remembered taking the mini skirt to Russia, meeting the designer Mary Quant and giving the then prime minister, Harold Wilson's wife, Mary, a home perm.
She spoke about her Dagenham childhood, when she gleaned her fashion sense from the silver screen. Skipping school to go to the cinema every Thursday afternoon with her father, Felicity was inspired by the Hollywood greats, 'Norma Shearer was my favourite. I kept a big scrapbook full of her pictures - but then I caught whooping cough, vomited all over it and the book had to be burned!'
And the octogenarian fashion expert's tip for looking good at any age? 'Look at this dress I'm wearing now (a simple black tunic), I'm 80-odd but I would have worn it in my twenties. Women mostly go wrong because they read an article saying 'Puff ball skirts are in' and think that they have to follow the latest craze. Experiment with fashion, just don't buy anything this year that you'll look daft in next year.' A great inspiration to us all. Felicity Green is, quite simply, a special person. She was a journalistic pioneer and she is a journalistic icon. And what style!