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Doreen Garner 

Doreen was born in Wallasey, Merseyside in 1903.

During the Spanish civil war she was involved in campaigning for relief and welcoming Spanish children to the UK.

She moved to Dorset around 1943 and worked for the Communist Party’s `Southern Times’ bookshop in Weymouth, at 38 St Thomas Street. During this period, Doreen stood as a Communist candidate in local elections.

When the bookshop in Weymouth was closed, Doreen went to work at the Party’s `People’s Bookshop’ in Brighton. This was at 16a North Street and Roland Mason was manager, with Betty Whittenbury assistant manager. The Brighton bookshop later moved to 15 Gloucester Road.

Doreen moved to work in the children’s library at Camden, London.

A few years after she retired she moved to Cambridge, where she campaigned successfully to make the local council open a drop in centre for local pensioners. Shortly after this campaign, she fell during a cold and slippery spell and ended up in hospital. Although furious with herself for this, she turned her accident into a successful campaign for a scheme whereby local people with cars offered pensioners lifts to the cinema, theatre, hospital or just visiting friends.

Her friends describe her as being incredibly indefatigable, never resting.

In her later years, she moved to Northamptonshire to be close to her relative, Elizabeth Jordan (nee Frood). 

Doreen Garner died in 1983.

 

Thanks for information from Michael Walker and Birgitha Bates.