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

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

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

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 - Credit: Archant

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.


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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.

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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.

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