A RESPECTED councillor and heavily involved in serving the community, Adrian Axford has died at the age of 75.

Born in Mitcham, Surrey, in 1945, he grew up in the Thames Valley, attending Windsor Boys’ Grammar School.

In 1963 he spent a year in Algeria teaching in a school in Oran, before going to St John’s College, Oxford, where he read modern languages.

He enjoyed rowing, and was a member of his college rowing crew, and in 1967 was part of the crew that won the Head of the River race. He was an active member of the Oxford Union, and his interest in politics was with him his whole life.

He qualified as a management accountant and after a move to the Island in 1981 worked for Clark Masts and Temperature, combining this with his political life.

When Temperature moved to the mainland, he and a colleague, Malcolm Dredge, bought out the coil and sheet metal part of the business and set up Axford Engineering, which provided work for about 50 people. A casualty of recession, the business closed but some staff were relocated to other Island businesses.

Mr Axford retrained as a teacher, and worked for some years at Cowes High School.

A committed and hard working councillor, both for Ryde Town Council and the Isle of Wight Council as ward member for Ryde North West, he spent time as deputy mayor for the town council, and recently served as chair of the finance committee.

He served as chair of the audit committee and the pension fund committee for four years at County Hall.

His family said he was known as a real gentleman — kind, considerate, and thoughtful, and a tireless advocate for people needing help. But he also had warmth and wit, and was popular with everyone.

Mr Axford was deeply involved with the local community. He served as president of the Isle of Wight Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus for a number of years, and was involved in the Brigstocke Almshouses, the Caring Cancer Trust, the Riverside Centre, Community Action and numerous other local organisations.

He served as chairman of the adoption panel on the Island for a number of years, and with his wife Anne was a foster carer.

Mr Axford also had drama as a hobby and was a keen member of South Wight Productions, appearing in pantomimes and shows.

He leaves his wife Anne, sister Christine, daughters Cindy Penney and Lucy Sullivan, and son Gary Axford.

Grandson Rhys Wright, and granddaughters Primrose and Lilac Penney will remember him as a very special granddad.

A memorial service will be arranged once Covid restrictions are lifted.