Tribute to former EDP reporter who was a champion of education and history
PUBLISHED: 11:06 16 April 2018
supplied by the Knox family
A former Eastern Daily Press reporter, author, and education and museum champion has died aged 93.
Margaret Knox, whose maiden name was Allen, was born in Southrepps and came from a large north Norfolk farming family, but it was words, history and education that were to shape her career. After spending the Second World War working in Harston, she read English at University of Leeds before joining the Eastern Daily Press as a reporter in Southwold in the late 1940s until the early 1950s. It was through her job as a reporter she met her husband, Andrew Knox, who worked in Southwold’s town clerk’s office. They married in August 1951 and went on to travel the world and have six children, Andrew, Tina, twins Julian and Timothy who both died in infancy, and Angie and Tim.
They moved to Zaria, northern Nigeria, in the late 1950s where Mr Knox was involved in setting up the new Ahmadu Bello University and Mrs Knox threw herself into local activities, including setting up the first primary school in the area. After 18 years, including two in Tanzania, they left Nigeria in 1967 during the civil war. Mr Knox was made an OBE for his role in rescuing people of the minority Igbo tribe meanwhile Mrs Knox’s brave work of crossing army lines with food and essentials is attested in the letters she received from grateful survivors.
In 1967, the family moved to Suva, Fiji, where Mr Knox became bursar of University of the South Pacific and Mrs Knox worked for the Fiji Board of Education and wrote the first English-language textbooks aimed at an island audience. She travelled widely and also wrote The Green Book for Fiji for the World Wildlife Fund in 1978, and Voyage of Faith: The Story of the Catholic Church in Fiji: The First Century which was published in 1997.
After 12 years they retired to Norfolk, returning to their home at Eaton Road, Norwich, where they lived between 1979 and 1991, before moving to Beccles where Mrs Knox and her colleagues helped revitalise the Beccles Museum. She also wrote Norfolk: A Shire County Guide (1994) and monographs on Suffolk Cheese and Lost Windmills, and was a volunteer at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and Felbrigg Hall as well as being involved with Friends of the Earth in Norwich and Norfolk Windmills Trust.
After Mr Knox died in 2003, Mrs Knox moved to North Yorkshire to be near her daughter Tina, but she continued to narrate stories in a Broad Norfolk dialect right up to the end.
Mrs Knox died on Easter Sunday and is survived by her children Andrew, Tina and Tim, and nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.