TRIBUTES have been pouring in for Evesham’s longest serving councillor who has died at the age of 83.

Ron Cartwright had been suffering from long-term illness when he died peacefully at Evesham Community Hospital on Sunday.

He is survived by his wife Daphne, children Paula, Stephen, Jayne and Andrew, and grandchildren Benjamin, Jenna, Rebecca, Nicholas and George.

Colleagues of Coun Cartwright have paid tribute to his unbroken 41 years of service as a town councillor and more than two decades as a district councillor.

Fellow town councillor John Smith said: “He was a fine servant to Evesham.

“Ron was a big racing man and I remember going to Cheltenham races with him many times and shouting both winners and losers. We had some great times.”

Town councillor Frances Smith described Coun Cartwright as a man for all seasons and a true gentleman.

Evesham’s mayor Alan Booth said: “My heart goes out to his family. He did well for the town and was very well respected.”

Wychavon chairman, Coun Andrew Dyke, said: “He was one of the real old school type councillors who was very interested in the people and the ward he served.”

Coun Cartwright grew up in Evesham and had aspirations to join the RAF but was denied entry because of a problem with his kidney and instead went to work as a sound supervisor for the BBC.

In 1968, he joined Evesham Borough Council and became the first Mayor of Evesham Town Council after the district of Wychavon was formed in 1974.

He was elected as a district councillor in 1983 and, during this time, he served a second term as Evesham’s mayor, as well as a year as Wychavon chairman.

Last year, he received the honour of being made an honorary freeman of Evesham.

Coun Cartwright’s funeral will take place on Thursday, December 17, at St Peter’s Church, Bengeworth, at 2pm.