Duchess born and bred in town

SHE was born there, lived there and worked there - now Ipswich centenarian Doris “Dimmy” Mulley is enjoying her days living opposite the shop which has been such a large part of her life.

SHE was born there, lived there and worked there - now Ipswich centenarian Doris “Dimmy” Mulley is enjoying her days living opposite the shop which has been such a large part of her life.

Dimmy, so called because her initials are D I and M, was the daughter of Percy Kenny, who ran the popular bakery at the corner of Cowper Street and Spring Road.

Growing up with the delicious smells of the bake house turning out loaf after loaf left an indelible mark on the young girl, who would race home from school to lend a hand in the shop or on the horse and cart delivering the fresh bread.

So, at 14, when the time came to leave the classroom, it was a natural progression for Dimmy to begin work at the bakery she loved.

And when she met and married husband John at 22, it was not long before the pair were offered the chance to take over the shop when Mr Kenny hung up his apron for the final time.

Today, the sprightly 100-year-old can still catch a glimpse of the shop - now Ipswich Microwave Centre - from her retirement home at Shaftesbury House, which is in the same street only a stones throw away.

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Dimmy, known to her friends and family as the 'duchess of Ipswich', said: “I used to go to private school in St John's Road and I used to come out of school and run home because I just loved being in that shop.

“I would help in the shop or I would be out on the horse and cart delivering either in the town or in the country.

“I can still remember the prices - fruit cake was six pence, a currant loaf was four pence and buns were a penny each, or seven for six pence.

“Life was lovely back then. I was brought up in the shop, I worked in it and I just loved it.”

Having lived in the same place for a century has made the great grandmother something of an unwilling celebrity in the area and she is also a popular figure among the residents and staff at her home.

To mark her milestone on August 29, around 100 friends and family, including son Kenneth, turned out for a surprise party.

She said: “It's lovely reaching 100. I feel as fit as a fiddle.

“I didn't believe I was 100 when I was told, but they kept telling me I was born in 1906 so I had to agree with them in the end.

“But I certainly don't feel it - I feel like a young chicken!”

Do you have a story to tell? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Did you know?

During Dimmy's lifetime, there have been 18 different British prime ministers.

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