City leaders pay tribute to a very proud Prestonian

Photo : Coun Davies at an Armed Forces Day flag ceremony at the Cenotaph in Preston

Photo : Coun Davies at an Armed Forces Day flag ceremony at the Cenotaph in Preston

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The union flag will fly at half mast at Preston council on the day of a well known city councillor’s funeral.

The tribute will be paid to Coun Tom Davies who died suddenly on Saturday.

Family, friends and council colleagues were this week struggling to come to terms with the loss of a man who had served the city in many roles - as a councillor, a policeman and a veteran.

Coun Davies of Greenfield Way, Ingol, was taken ill on Saturday just after watching a Preston North End match, where he was a season ticket holder. The 71 year oldhad represented the Preston Rural East ward for the Conservatives since 2004.

The father of five and grandfather of seven was a born and bred Prestonian, who also served as the secretary and treasurer of the Preston branch of the Scots Guards Association. He had organised its annual reunion dinner at the city’s Masonic Hall on Friday night.

Fellow ward councillor and leader of the city council’s Tory group Coun Neil Cartwright said: “You look at the photos taken on Friday night and 24 hours later it’s a complete shock. You couldn’t ask for a better man. He was great with the residents. He was very much a people person, a great bloke.”

Council leader Coun Peter Rankin said: “Tom will be missed. He was regarded as a real character. He was always there at Remembrance Day leading the parade.”

Coun Pauline Brown, leader of the city council’s Liberal Democrat group said: “He was just all round a very good man. He contributed to his society. It’s very sad to lose him.”

Coun Drew Gale, armed forces champion added: “It’s a tremendous loss to the city.”

MP Ben Wallace said: “Tom was fiercely proud of his military service and often carried the Scots Guards Association Standard at Military and Remembrance events...his hard work and drive will be greatly missed.”

He was also a former Chairman of the Preston and District Veterans Council and had beena member of the Caribbean Sports and Social Club.

His widow and second wife Christine summed up his work saying: “I think he was just a proud Prestonian.”

Funeral arrangements are being finalised.