Tributes have been paid to a much-loved community man who has died at the age of 77.
Biggleswade Town Councillor and former retained fire fighter Rex Skinner passed away on Sunday (November 24).
He had been battling bone cancer.
Rex was well-known in the town, especially after volunteering for Beds Fire and Rescue for more than 30 years.
He also served as a town councillor for 14 years, as a former Mid Beds District Councillor and was involved with a variety of community organisations.
These include Biggleswade History Society, the Royal Artillery Association, Sandy Transport, the Parish Path and the New Horizon Club for the elderly, which he founded and ran. He was involved with the running of the former Biggleswade Skatepark and the Biggleswade Twinning Association, also volunteering as a driver on the Ivel Sprinter bus service.
Rex was born in Sandy and attended the former Laburnum School in the town.
He lived in Sandy until he met his wife Pauline, who he married in 1958 when he was 21.
The couple later set up home in Biggleswade,
After completing his National Service Rex worked as a stoker on steam trains.
He also worked as a dustman and at landfill sites.
In his spare time he enjoyed keeping birds including canaries, chaffinches and bullfinches.
A keen gardener, he especially liked to grow more exotic species of plants and flowers.
Biggleswade Town Councillor Bernard Briars, who paid tribute to Rex at a council meeting on Tuesday (November 26) with mayor Councillor Hazel Ramsay, said: “Rex served in so many different organisations and he was so well-known in the town.
“He will be sadly missed by many people.”
Mrs Ramsay added: “He was a modest man and I know he always considered it an honour to represent and serve the people of Biggleswade.
“Everyone at the council will miss his understanding of local matters and his sense of humour.”
Watch commander Eddie Wing from Biggleswade fire station, who knew Rex well, said: “He was a very honest, down-to-earth and decent man who would give you his last pound if you needed it.
“He will be greatly missed.”
As well as Pauline Rex is survived by the couple’s children Siobhan, David, Vanda and Dominic, their seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.