Ipswich: Tributes to former mayor Beryl James

ipswich: Tributes have today been paid to a political stalwart who always had time for the people she represented.

Former Mayor of Ipswich Beryl James died at the age of 89 on Monday.

A former Labour borough councillor, Mrs James represented the Racecourse ward – later to become Priory Heath ward – from the 60s to the mid 80s.

The former Labour borough councillor moved to America with her husband Charles, a former Suffolk County councillor to be closer to their family.

Gainsborough borough councillor John Mowles today paid tribute to Mrs James who served as mayor twice, from 1975 to 1976 and then again from 1982 to 1983.

“I first met Beryl when I started serving on the council in the early 70s, when she was a well established figure in the town,” he said. “She was involved as a councillor, with the Labour party and with the trades unions on the trades council.

“It was always Beryl and Charles, both were councillors and they were very much a double act – a formidable twosome.

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“Beryl had time for anyone. She was serious in a political sense but always willing to share a joke and she had a number of amazing tales to tell.

“She really played her part in the town, she was a lovely person. People always talk about people being respected, but Beryl was very well liked as well.”

Mr Mowles said he had stayed in regular contact with Mrs James after she moved to America.

He said she regularly kept up-to-date with news and tales from Ipswich.

“She kept her eye on things happening in Ipswich,” he added. “She will be much missed.”

n Pay your tributes to Beryl James. Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starnews@archant.co.uk