ONE of the country’s oldest and longest-serving writers has died at the age of 98.

Dorothy Whalley wrote for newspapers including The Press’s sister publication, the Gazette & Herald and penned eight novels in a career spanning 77 years.

Dorothy wrote much of her work from her bungalow in Pickering under her maiden name of Dorothy Cowlin.

She wrote for such magazines as The Dalesman, Yorkshire Life and Yorkshire Ridings, recalling her experiences growing up, becoming a teacher, and moving with her husband to Thornton-le-Dale when he became a teacher at the village school.

She wrote eight books for publishers Jonathan Cape.

“They were romantic, but not sentimental, and I used the countryside for much of the background,” said Dorothy in one of her last interviews.

She bought her first typewriter when she started teaching, paying £6 a month, and it was to be a vital tool for her over many years.

After years of typewriting, she bought herself a computer – but always insisted on writing her articles first in long-hand.

Well-known in Ryedale for her poetry, she wrote three books and was a member of the Rye Writers’ Group.

Over the years she interviewed many hundreds of people in the North Yorkshire and Wolds countryside about their lives and local history.

Dorothy’s funeral was held at the East Riding Crematorium, Octon, on Monday. Her family requested donations in lieu of flowers should be given to The Woodlands Trust.