A JOURNALIST who worked in Hereford during the early years of her career has died after testing positive for Covid-19.

A warm and bubbly personality who went on to work as a sub-editor for the Shropshire Star and its weekly sister paper including the Hereford Journal, Catherine Griffiths (nee Waring) was a popular journalist who loved her job.

She had a strong sense of fun – underlined by a passion for garish hair colours - and loved meeting people. Catherine was devoted to her husband, Richard and their daughter, Jess, and was surrounded by her beloved cats.

The 48 year-old, who went to St Mary’s Convent School in Worcester, died on May 3 at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Her husband Richard said: “The doctors said if she hadn’t had lupus she could well have survived.

“It came as a big shock because she was improving, and at one stage she was close to being sent home. But then her oxygen levels kept dropping.

"I spoke to her on the phone and she didn’t complain, even though she must have been struggling.

“The girls from the ICU were brilliant with her. They put themselves in a hazardous situation every day. They did the level best they could for Catherine.

“She always wanted to be a journalist. She wasn’t really interested in going to a national newspaper or getting into television or radio. She loved doing local stories. She loved meeting people.”

Despite receiving a diagnosis for lupus some years ago, a condition which inflames joints, skin and organs, she managed to retain her love of life.

Catherine trained with the Shrewsbury Chronicle nearly 30 years ago and went on to work for the Journal for five years when it was based in Broad Street.

She moved to Shrewsbury in 2000 to train as a sub-editor. Her former editor at the Hereford Journal, Mary Queally said: "Cath's local knowledge was valued and invaluable. She was a great asset to the Journal.

"She was immensely clever, very funny and good humoured to a fault; it took a lot to get Cath down.

"The reporters loved her. She was friendly and generous with advice and she had an amazing laugh – you could hear that laugh in the car park through double-glazed windows.

"Everyone who knew Cath will have lovely memories of her funny, bright personality. Her death is utterly tragic and I send my deepest condolences to her lovely family."

While she had been hampered by lupus, Catherine remained positive, and a swathe of tributes have been paid on social media by her many friends.

Among them, one mourns the loss of a "dear friend to Covid". The message continues: "She was an amazing mother, wife and adoring daughter who had unforgettable wit."