A WEST Wight husband and wife have died within weeks of each other.

Derek Bannister, 85, died on October 24, and Shirley, 84, died on November 26.

Mr Bannister was born in Ventnor and started an apprenticeship with International stores in Ventnor then moved to International Stores in Shanklin, where he met his future wife.

They married at St Peter's Church, Shanklin, on March 8, 1958.

Mr Bannister also managed International Stores in East Cowes and then went on to manage the Freshwater branch, in the town where they lived for 59 years.

They had four children — Debbie, Julie, Andrew and Stuart — six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

When Mr Bannister left International Stores, he went on to run the Corner Shop newsagents and sweet shop in Freshwater.

Mrs Bannister was born in London and trained as a tailoress. She worked at Dickens and Jones in Oxford Street before moving to the Island as a teenager.

She became well-known in Freshwater for making wedding dresses, and made both her daughters' wedding dresses and also dresses for Freshwater carnival queens.

She was a volunteer at Wessex Cancer's shop in Freshwater, sold baby milk at the local baby clinic and doctor's surgery, and was a home help. She also belonged to Inner Wheel and Mothers' Union and was also social secretary and trustee of Abbeyfield West Wight Society, arranging outings for the residents.

Mr Bannister also did a lot of charity work. He drove for Tennyson Ambulance for many years and was a trustee.

He was president of West Wight Rotary Club and a member for 49 years, and also a trustee and treasurer of Abbeyfield West Wight Society for more than 20 years.

They celebrated their diamond wedding in 2018 with a surprise party their children had arranged.

Their family said: "They were a devoted couple and are together again."