TRIBUTES have been paid to a former councillor who has died after a short battle with cancer.
Derek Allison, a former Hartlepool councillor and chairman of the Headland Parish Council, died at his home in Beaconsfield Square on Monday night.
The 80-year-old was married to Aileen, nee Outhwaite, for 57 years and they had two sons and five grandchildren.
Eldest son, Stephen, a self employed business consultant and also a former UKIP councillor for the St Hilda Ward, has paid tribute to his dad who was always up for a “challenge”.
The 51-year-old said: “Dad took up skiing when he was in his 50s and became an accomplished downhill skier before an accident on the piste, where a novice skier collided with Derek, left him with a damaged knee and ended his involvement with the sport.
“He also never lost his ability to master technology and for many people became the “man to call” when they had problems with their computers.
“Dad will be sadly missed by his family and many friends, including those he made at Hartlepool Rotary Club and as a member of the Hartlepool Retired Men’s Forum.”
Mr Allison served as an independent councillor for the St Hilda ward between May 2004 and May 2007 and was parish chairman in 2007.
Labour councillor Carl Richardson, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “Although Derek was only on the council for three years he was an active representative of the people of the Headland and contributed to many of the debates at full council meetings.
“I extend my condolences to his family.”
Jim Ainslie, chairman of the Headland Parish Council, said: “Derek worked extremely hard and always had the interests of the people of the Headland at heart.
“My condolences go to his family.”
Mr Allison, who was born in 1931, attended the Boys Technical Day School and was an accomplished table tennis player and keen cyclist.
Back in 1951, alongside a group of friends, he even cycled to London to attend the Festival of Britain.
When called up for his National Service, Mr Allison joined the Merchant Navy as an engineering officer with the Empire Line.
He served on troopships during both the Suez conflict and the Korean War.
Mr Allison was also a member of Tees Sailing Club and was Commodore of the club in the 1980s.
After completing his National Service, the dad-of-two returned to Hartlepool and worked in Port Clarence at British Steel (Chemicals), where he was the works engineer until he retired in 1995.
During his retirement, Mr Allison and his wife travelled extensively visiting many of the ports he had called at during his service in the Merchant Navy.
Youngest son David, 49, is a director of the Austrian National Oil Company and currently lives in Budapest.
He also leaves behind two grandsons, Charlie and John who are both still at school, two granddaughters Rosemary and Ria who are both at University and eldest grandson Edward, an engineering cadet with P&O Cruise lines.
The funeral service will be held in St Hilda’s Church, on the Headland, at 10.30am this Friday.