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Vera King. SUR
Flamenco-loving British journalist dies at the age of 93
Obituary

Flamenco-loving British journalist dies at the age of 93

Vera King, who had a home in Torremolinos since the 1960s, was considered a pioneer in the promotion of flamenco in the UK

Tony Bryant

Torremolinos

Friday, 6 October 2023, 18:36

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The flamenco communities of London and Malaga were saddened by the news of the death of Vera King, a former Torremolinos resident who died peacefully in her home in London on Sunday 24 September.

A journalist in London working for most of her career on Fleet Street as a copy editor, Vera, who studied dance at the London Contemporary Dance School, was a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIOJ). She began working for local papers as a reporter, and went on to become the first female sub-editor at the Press Association.

She bought an apartment in Playamar, Torremolinos, during the 1960s, where she lived for many years, and it was here that she established herself on the regional flamenco scene.

Born in Swindon, Wiltshire, on 14 November 1930, the passionate flamenco aficionado was a vital part of London's flamenco community during the 1950s, and she had been considered a pioneer in the promotion of the art in the UK ever since. She was also involved with the annual flamenco festival held at Sadler's Wells Theatre in Islington, London, one of her favourite events of the year.

She was the founder of the Peña Flamenca de Londres, the UK's first and largest flamenco club, of which Vera played an active role in since its inception in 1984.

Along with holding the role of president, Vera was responsible for organising the shows, promoting promising non-Spanish singers, guitarists and dancers, along with established performers from Spain at the regular flamenco sessions held at the peña. She was made a life member of the club for her decades of dedication to flamenco: the club also acknowledged her "huge contribution" last year with a special show in her honour.

Following her career in Fleet Street, Vera went on to edit two English-language flamenco magazines, Flamenco International, and Flamenco News, which she edited until her retirement in 2020. During this time, she interviewed some of the genre's top performers, including the singer Fosforito, guitarist Paco Peña, and the Malaga dancer El Carrete, whom she considered a close friend.

Although she had relocated to London, Vera regularly visited her Torremolinos apartment, especially to attend the town's San Miguel pilgrimage and fair.

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