AN avid reader from Silverdale has left £17,000 to Kendal Library in her will.

Iris Downes - who died last year aged 93 - left the money for the purchase of new stock.

Hester Gorman, head librarian at Kendal Library said: “It came as a bit of a shock really, as none of us who work here really knew Iris, but we are absolutely delighted by her gesture.

“Obviously to have such a large amount to spend on books is fantatsic and we are urging members of the public to come in and give us suggestions as to what type of book the money should be spent on.”

Ms Downes grew up in Liverpool but later moved to Yealand Redmayne with her mother and sister, where she worked as a district nurse.

She retired in 1975 and continued to live in Yealand, enjoying walking and holidays in Europe.

She attended Storth 
Methodist Church and also had a passion for music.

Ms Downes spent her later years in Cove House, Silverdale.

Sadly, she could no longer read due to failing sight, but was always grateful for the opportunity to use the library service, which she had done from childhood.

Ms Downes also left £17,000 to Lancaster Library who are also asking the public for ideas on how it should be spent.