DEE Adcock, a former chief reporter and arts editor with the Salisbury Journal, has died after a short illness. She was 64.

She began her journalistic career as a trainee at the Andover Advertiser in 1974 before moving to the Salisbury Journal as a senior reporter five years later. She was promoted to chief reporter in 1982.

She took a career break from 1984 for the birth of her two children and worked for the Journal on a part-time basis for some years before being appointed the newspaper’s arts editor in the early 1990s.

It was a role in which she excelled, establishing the newspaper as a champion of the arts and helping the Journal win numerous industry awards.

In 2003 the family moved to Dorset, the county she quickly came to love, especially so as she was an ardent admirer of the works of Thomas Hardy.

Dee had two spells working as a senior reporter for the Blackmore Vale Magazine, either side of a brief time in the Dorchester office of the Dorset Echo.

She left the magazine in 2017 and early last year she retrained as a 101 operator with Dorset Police at their Winfrith headquarters. So popular was she with her colleagues that the building’s flag was flown at half-mast upon news of her untimely death.

Dee died at the Joseph Weld hospice in Dorchester on September 5. She leaves a daughter Emma, son Jonathan and grand-daughters Poppy and Lilah.

The funeral will be held at Higher Ground Meadow, Hackney, Corscombe, Dorchester, DT2 0QN on Thursday September 19 at 12pm.

Donations in her memory may be sent to the Weldmar Hospicecare at Dorchester.