Tributes paid to popular former Echo letters contributor and ex-Sunderland councillor

William Quinn will be fondly remembered by those who knew him.
William Quinn will be fondly remembered by those who knew him.

Tributes have been paid to popular great-grandfather William Quinn, one of the Echo letter page’s most prolific contributors.

Mr Quinn passed away earlier this month at the age of 85 after a short, brave battle with cancer.

He had many critics of his opinions but many supporters too, and it is somewhat an end of an era as there will be no more letters submitted from W Quinn

Emma Bedford

The father-of-four, grandfather-of-seven and great-grandfather-of-five was a Labour councillor in Sunderland during the 1980s.

After retiring as a councillor, he got his views across by sending letters to the Echo, which were published on an almost weekly basis as he discussed local affairs and politics.

A fierce advocate against the closure of the shipyards, Mr Quinn, of Duke Street, Millfield, spent much of his life battling for the best for Sunderland.

He will be fondly remembered by all of his family and many friends.

Emma Bedford, Mr Quinn’s granddaughter, said: “Granddad loved a political debate and loved responding to comments on his letters, and any sort of debate to do with local affairs and political matters.

“He was a wonderful family man and we are devastated at his passing.

“It’s always amazed the family how many people avidly loved his letters and are quite amazed when they meet the real ‘W Quinn’!

“He had many critics of his opinions but many supporters too, and it is somewhat an end of an era as there will be no more letters submitted from W Quinn.

“I have lived overseas for several years now, and whenever I rang Granddad we would always talk about his latest letter, and the next one he was planning.”

Mr Quinn worked at Steels Boilermakers and was one of the leading members of trade union GMB.

He also loved to read books and enjoyed gardening, while he spent time working for William Doxford & Sons, and as a greengrocer.

Michael Thompson, Mr Quinn’s son-in-law, said: “He will be sadly missed by us all.

“He was a family man and a people’s person. It meant a lot to him to get his point across.

“When he retired as a Labour councillor, writing to the Echo was his way of doing that.

“He was also a big part of the community and I’m sure all those who knew him will be very sad to hear the news.”

Mr Quinn was laid to rest on Tuesday at St Joseph’s Church, in Paxton Terrace.