Tributes paid to man known as Mr Alnmouth

Alistair Sinton with his wife Dorothea.
Alistair Sinton with his wife Dorothea.
Share this article

A much-loved community stalwart, affectionately known as Mr Alnmouth, has died, aged 90.

Former solicitor Alistair Sinton passed away peacefully in hospital last Thursday.

He will be remembered as a man who was actively involved in village life.

Together with his wife Dorothea, the pair were an inspirational team, setting up a myriad of community activities which are still going strong to this day.

Alistair was born in Newcastle in August 1927, and he was with law firm Sintons LLP all his working life, having been articled to his father, John H Sinton, from 1949.

Alistair married Dorothea Harbottle in 1953 and they had three children, Richard, Philip and Joanna.

Richard also carries the family name into business; soon to retire from Richard Sinton, Jewellers in Eldon Garden.

Alistair might be known as Mr Alnmouth, but his love for Northumberland began as a child, along with his brother Roger, on the dunes at Embleton Bay.

He was able to buy a bungalow there in 1960 and his six grandchildren have reaped the benefit of its fresh air and fantastic scenery ever since.

Actively involved in the Alnmouth community, Alistair was a key figure in the village, leading an interested and energetic life.

He led the Alnmouth Veteran Walkers, heading out across the hills, past fascinating places, about which Alistair could recount the history.

The walks the group have undertaken are documented on a map in the village’s Hindmarsh Hall and the group held a poignant minute’s silence on one of Alistair’s favourite walks at Lemmington Hall after his passing.

The Hindmarsh Hall is the scene of another of Alistair’s endeavours –the Alnmouth Village Show, where he has been seen as Uncle Fester, a crocodile for Punch and Judy, the tall one in Flanagan and Allen and a guide around Northumberlandia.

He will be particularly remembered for his rendition of Emily Dunn which he sang right up until his recent 90th birthday.

Alistair was closely involved with the successful bid to create a village map which can be seen in the hall to this day.

Every New Year’s Eve, he could be heard calling dance routines for visitors at a barn dance, part of regular dance evenings which he and Dorothea began back in 1989 when they settled permanently in the village.

Trains, painting, golf and history were all interests that Alistair followed with infectious and capable enthusiasm.

His much-loved model train set has been bequeathed to the Aln Valley Railway where it is hoped the trains will run again for all to enjoy.

A poignant and touching statement from the family said: ‘Alistair will be much missed and fondly remembered, but his legacy is firmly founded in Alnmouth and will be continued by Dorothea as determinedly as ever.’

Paying his respects to Alistair, former parish-council chairman Bill Bourne said: “Alistair was a village institution, involved in so many village organisations and playing such a large part in village life for so many years that Alnmouth will certainly not be the same without him.

“The list of things he did for Alnmouth is endless, but above all Alistair will be remembered as wise and witty man of great integrity who worked hard for our village in so many ways, who always had its best interests in his heart, and who could always be relied upon to give good counsel and sound advice.”

The family are having a private committal at Alnmouth Cemetery on December 8.