FORMER Skipton mayor Fred Armitage has died peacefully in Manorlands Hospice at the age of 91.

Born in 1928, Mr Armitage grew up in Skipton and attended Ermysted’s Grammar School.

He had a number of jobs, working mainly in accounts and as a book keeper, but the two jobs he enjoyed the most were with Ledgard and Wynn and James Pye Estate Agents.

Fred Armitage served on Skipton Town Council between 1987 and 1995 and then from 1998 until 1999. He was deputy mayor from 1989 until 1990 when the mayor was Eric Stodart.

He served as town mayor between 1990 and 1991. Betty Lister was his deputy.

Together with his late wife, Rita, they were also members of the Simbach Association.

Councillor Robert Heseltine, leader of Skipton Town Council and vice chairman of North Yorkshire County Council said he would be greatly missed.

He said: “Fred was an exceptionally well respected, prominent citizen of Skipton. Apart from a long and distinguished association with the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment he was for many years a governor of Ermysted’s Grammar School and a Skipton Town Councillor.

“Unfailingly courteous, fair-minded, quick witted, very knowledgeable of all aspects of Skipton, well-educated and outstandingly good company both within and outside his numerous public duties.

“I never heard him raise his voice, even under extreme provocation. He would calm any situation down with a degree of self-deprecation and quiet humour.

“Fred, during his service to Skipton, was the rock around who many of we lesser mortals at times floundered. We were all privileged to work with Fred Armitage and honoured to have such a faithful and enduring companion and friend. As well as being a true pillar of the Skipton society, he was the very fabric that held it together.”

Mr Armitage leaves a son, David, daughter, Tracey, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A funeral service will take place at Waltonwray’s on March 12 at 10.50am.