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Tribute paid to former mayor

PUBLISHED: 11:42 09 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:09 03 March 2010

TRIBUTES have been paid to former Ipswich mayor Ruby Skerritt who has died aged 84, after a short illness.

Former Mayor, Cllr John Mowles, said she was a much respected woman with whom he shared a passion for social services and housing.

TRIBUTES have been paid to former Ipswich mayor Ruby Skerritt who has died aged 84, after a short illness.

Former Mayor, Cllr John Mowles, said she was a much respected woman with whom he shared a passion for social services and housing.

He said: "She was a fine looking and very regal mayor which is how she will be remembered. She had a very regal look and attitude. She was always very smart and had a regal presence. She was ideally suited for her role as mayor."

In May 1973, Mrs Skerritt became only the fifth woman to hold the town's highest office and was the last mayor for the existing County Borough of Ipswich.

This was because on March 31 1974 under local government reorganisation the town lost its county borough status.

She was first elected to Ipswich Town Council as a Labour member for the Racecourse Ward in a by-election in June 1964, but lost her seat to a Conservative in the 1969 elections.

She was elected again for Racecourse Ward in 1970 and her husband Frank, who died in December 1972 was also a council member.

Born in King's Lynn, Mrs Skerritt was the daughter of a London police officer. She left school at 14 and moved with her family to London where she worked in a florists. She moved to Ipswich in 1937.

She is survived by her daughter Joan, who was Mayoress between 1973 and 1974, and son Colin.

Her funeral will be held at Ipswich Crematorium on Thursday.

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