Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a village stalwart who dedicated his time to helping the community he loved so much.
Alan Fendley, from Rothbury, lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday, February 3. The 78-year-old leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Averil, as well as sons, Chris and David, and grandchildren, Jack and Anna.
As of his wishes, he will have a private family funeral. It will be held in Whitley Bay on Wednesday.
Having moved to Rothbury in 1987, Alan entered village life by joining Rothbury Parish Council in 1997, serving as chairman on three occasions during his 17-year tenure, before retiring in 2014.
He was involved in numerous projects over the years, including The John Barleycorn Festival and The Lord Armstrong Bicentennial.
Alan’s father served with distinction in the Army during the First World War and Alan followed in his father’s military footsteps by joining the RAF.
He was the former chairman of the Rothbury branch of the Royal British Legion, helping to coordinate the village’s Remembrance Day Services over many years and helped with the Poppy Appeal collection. A keen historian, Alan gave many talks on a range of subjects and was also a model-railway enthusiast.
Averil, 73, said: “Moving to Rothbury gave Alan a new lease of life and it gave him a wonderful number of years. Myself and the rest of the family are overwhelmed by the support we have received.”
Touching comments have poured in for Alan. Among them, Rothbury councillor Steven Bridgett paid tribute to his ‘friend, colleague and mentor’.
He said: “I have known Alan for more than 15 years and in that time he has guided me, taught me and worked with me to help improve Rothbury, the Coquet Valley and the lives of the people who live within it.
“I will miss Alan’s advice, I will miss his guidance, but most of all I will miss his sense of humour and his ability to bring me down a peg or two using the sarcastic wit that I had come to know and love over the years.
“I am truly privileged to have benefited from Alan’s friendship and we all have been blessed to have had Alan working in and on behalf of our community over so many years.”
Current parish council chairman Mark Gilson took over the role from ‘good friend’ Alan. He said: “Sound advice was always available from Alan. I will be satisfied if I manage to give half as much to the community of Rothbury as Alan did.”