POPULAR writers’ group author Linora Lawrence, whose stories focused on eccentric Oxford University traditions, has died following a long battle with cancer.

The 72-year-old died peacefully on January 2.

As well as being a member of Writers in Oxford, Ms Lawrence was chairman of the Oxford Writers Group (OWG), best known for the group’s five anthologies of Oxford and Oxfordshire-based short stories.

Born on June 12, 1947, Ms Lawrence’s first 16 years were spent on a farm in Northumberland.

She first moved to Newcastle and then to Oxford following a period living in London.

Oxford Mail:

When she arrived in Oxford in 1982 she worked for Oxford University Press in Walton Street before getting a job at Oxford University’s Bodleian Library.

Readers will recognise the covers of the writers’ group books designed by local artist Valerie Petts.

Two of the anthologies took their titles from stories written by Ms Lawrence.

The title The Bodleian Murders and other Oxford Stories came from Ms Lawrence’s tale.

It reflects her part-Polish ancestry and her work at the Bodleian.

READ AGAIN: Oxford will flood says Environment Agency

Her final story was The Radcliffe Legacy, which reflected her love of the city.

The Radcliffe Camera is part of the Bodleian where she worked in the personnel department from 1994 to 2004.

She was familiar with the subterranean world of that vast library and it also inspired her story The Bodleian Murders.

Ms Lawrence’s features in Oxfordshire Limited Edition magazine will be most familiar to readers of The Oxford Times.

She loved to write about the eccentricities of the city such as the annual tortoise race at Trinity College where she worked in the development office until she retired a few years ago.

READ MORE: Seven men charged with fraud offences

She meticulously researched her features on Jewish history in Oxford and for her memorable series The A-Z of the Bodleian.

The female freelance contributors to Oxfordshire Limited Edition met twice a year for lunch and the photograph shows Ms Lawrence presiding over one of those lunches at the home of the The Oxford Times food writer Helen Peacocke.

Oxford Mail:

Ms Lawrence was born in Newcastle and it was there that she developed a love of amateur dramatics.

She was known for her generous support of her fellow writers - and for being a diplomatic and warm chairman.

Author John Kitchen a members of OWG said: “Linora was one of that tiny handful of people whose character was such that just being in her company made you feel a richer and better person.

“She devoted herself to advancing our individual efforts - for me she did herculean things in an effort to make my writing more successful.”

READ MORE: Flooded roads in Oxfordshire causing havoc

Ms Lawrence had no children.

The writer’s closest relative is her niece Amy Wilton.

Ms Wilton’s mother died young and Ms Wilton regarded Ms Lawrence almost like a mother as well as an aunt and friend.

The family has asked that people should contact S&R Childs funeral directors in Headington for full details of the funeral service.