Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 1°C


Family pay tribute to much-loved Ipswich bookseller Richard ‘Dick’ Batley

PUBLISHED: 18:15 03 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:26 04 March 2018

Tributes have been paid to Dick Batley. Picture: MARY WHITMORE

Tributes have been paid to Dick Batley. Picture: MARY WHITMORE


The family of a much-loved Suffolk bookseller - known for his love of motorbikes and boats - have paid tribute to “a man who loved to chat”.

Dick Batley had a passion for boats and the open water. Picture: MARY WHITMORE Dick Batley had a passion for boats and the open water. Picture: MARY WHITMORE

Richard Batley, also known as Dick, who had a book stall at Ipswich market and Framlingham, died in February at the age of 77 following a battle with cancer.

Mr Batley was born in Cheltenham after his mother was evacuated from Ipswich in October 1940.

He went to Nacton Road Infant School and then to Northgate School for Boys.

In 1957 he joined the Merchant Navy, sparking a life-long love of boats and the open water.

In his younger years he liked to hang around Ipswich Airport and earned a pilots licence in his early 20s. After leaving the Merchant Navy he went to work at Woolverstone Marina, working on the boats and maintaining the vessels.

During this time he lived on a boat on the shore between Woolverstone and Pin Mill called Dawn Star.

His love of literature and reading led him to hunt out books around the county and beyond, selling them for clients.

He started a book stall in Framlingham and Ipswich markets and had a shop in Argyle Street as well as one in Dumfries after he moved up to Scotland in the 1980s.

Richard continue to run his Ipswich book stall even when he lived north of the border - travelling the huge distances on his trusty motorbike.

His sister Mary Whitmore said he was a man who loved to chat.

“He did all the talking,” she said. “He would chat along to everyone and everybody.

“I remember one day he dragged his children out of bed early to take them down to Felixstowe to see the sunrise and pointed to where it would be rising.
“After a while there was a tug on his coat and a little voice said ‘Daddy, it’s over there’. He was pointing the wrong way.”

Richard moved back to Ipswich ten years ago but became unwell when he was diagnosed with cancer but still continued going to Martlesham creek to renovate his wooden boats and ride his motorbike.
He succumbed to cancer again in January and passed away on February 7.

He leaves four daughters Sarah, Meg, Lucy, Rosie, his son Tim, nine grandchildren and his sister Mary.

Business and political leaders have called for a swift decision on the future of the Ipswich Toys R Us store which is due to close within the next six weeks.

Delighted pupils and staff at a Suffolk primary school marked their 50th birthday celebrations in style.

A public inquiry due to get underway in May over controversial plans to build 138 homes in Melton has been dropped after developers withdrew the appeal.

Two men and two women who became involved in a brawl at an Ipswich hotel after having too much to drink have been told they may get suspended prison sentences when they are sentenced next month.

Homeless charity Emmaus has collected more than 2,500 socks to help the town’s rough sleepers beat the cold.

Looking for something interesting to do in the Ipswich area this weekend? There’s plenty of choice.

A woman was placed in an induced coma after being thrown from her horse in rural Suffolk.

A man accused of stabbing a homeless man in Ipswich will be sentenced in April after pleading guilty to the attack on what would have been the first day of his trial.

It would be easy to judge Danielle, Stacy and other women whose children have been removed from their care.

A fresh round of snow could fall at Easter according to experts – just when hopes were high that the wintry weather swept in by the Beast from the East had run its course.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24