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Town librarian Prim fondly remembered

PUBLISHED: 17:26 20 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2010

TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known former Ipswich librarian and Martlesham councillor.

Dorothy Primrose King, known to her friends as Prim, had been battling with cancer for some time but died from peritonitis.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known former Ipswich librarian and Martlesham councillor.

Dorothy Primrose King, known to her friends as Prim, had been battling with cancer for some time but died from peritonitis.

The 82-year-old had led an extremely active life and had led a number of rambles for the Ipswich Ramblers.

She moved to Martlesham during the 1970's when she retired from Ipswich Central Library and lived at Red Roofs in Private Road.

Recently she had moved to the sheltered housing accommodation in Bader Court, Martlesham Heath.

Miss King never married and according to her nephew, Terry King, she was the last of her generation of a very old family.

Her parents had owned a chain of master tailors in Victorian and Edwardian Ipswich and their family photo album dates back to a great great great grandmother who was born in 1784.

Mr King, who lives in Twickenham, London said that his aunt was a very strong and independent woman and came from a long line of women like herself.

One claim to fame was that Miss King's aunt, Mary King, from Felixstowe, was the first ever woman to get her own mortgage.

Miss King started her career with Ipswich libraries at the Springfield branch library along the Norwich Road, moving to the Sherrington Road (Westbourne) library after the war.

The Sherrington Road library was a mustard gas decontamination centre constructed entirely of concrete, so it was not a pleasant place to work.

She moved to the Central Library in the late 50s and became lending librarian until she retired in the late 70's.

Mr King, who has been in contact with staff from Ipswich library about his aunt, said: "Once, when there was a move to ban Billy Bunter books from the shelves, she persuaded Giles to do a cartoon of the incident, based in Ipswich Central Library. A print still hangs in the staff room."

He added that Miss King was also associated with a TV programme called "The Army Game", where a bad tempered librarian in the sketch was called Primrose.

He said: "Prim wrote to the show and jokingly complained. She was rewarded with a day out at the studio to watch an episode being filmed. She had a wonderful time."

Prim was very keen on rambling and led a number of rambles for the Ipswich Ramblers before she moved to Martlesham where she also became an active member of the parish council.

Mr King said that his aunt would be well remembered as a very kind, caring lady who spent much time looking after her family and friends regardless of her own problems with cancer.

He said: "She was a very strong and independent woman who was greatly respected. She was also a woman of great integrity."

Miss King died on Boxing Day. Her funeral was held on Tuesday.

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