HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a Hartlepool Alderman and former town mayor who served as a councillor for more than 30 years.
Douglas Ferriday, who was the town’s last non-elected mayor, from 2001-2002, passed away aged 85 on Thursday.
A year after his mayoral term, Mr Ferriday was given another honour, when he was elected as leader and chairman of the Conservative group on Hartlepool Borough Council, having been the group’s secretary for 20 years.
The retired photographer and historian joined the local authority in 1970 and during his time, represented the Grange and Rift House wards.
After 34 years’ service as a councillor, he was later given Hartlepool’s highest civic honour, when he became an Alderman in 2010.
In a 1989 Hartlepool Mail article featuring a profile of Mr Ferriday, his commitment and membership of many community organisations was hailed as a “Who’s Who of the caring society”.
He had been founder member of Hartlepool Civic Society, chairman of the Cleveland Committee of the North Eastern Electricity Consultative Council, a board member of the Cleveland Buildings Preservation Trust, press officer for Hartlepool Art Club, a member of the management committees of Hartlepool People and Hartlepool Citizen’s Advice Bureau and was also active in the Hartlepool Council of Voluntary Service.
Mr Ferriday, who served with the Army as an 18-year-old in Belsen, in Germany, was also chairman of Rift House Ward, an executive of the Hartlepool Conservative Association, on the Police Liaison Panel for Hartlepool and also found time to write numerous books.
Tributes have been paid to the community stalwart and dad-of-one.
Hartlepool Conservative councillor Ray Wells said: “On behalf of the Conservative group of councillors, I would like to pass on our deep condolences to Doug’s family.
“I first met Doug in 1988 when he was a Conservative councillor.
“He represented the Rift House ward diligently for many years and went on to serve the whole town as mayor.
“He contributed significantly to the town and he will be greatly missed.”
Close friend and former Labour councillor Ray Waller, who served on the council for 44 years before retiring five years ago, first came into contact with Mr Ferriday when he took election photographs in 1961, when Mr Waller was an election candidate.
He said: “Doug Ferriday was an active councillor over very many years.
“He was very keen in things other than council business, such as caring for animals and looking after the community.
“He was the last mayor of Hartlepool before the directly-elected mayoral system.
“He was always very hard-working for all the things which he had interests in, including the civic society.”
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond was given advice and support from Mr Ferriday during his first days as mayor.
He said: “He was a very nice guy and always there to offer advice to me. He was a genuinely good guy.”
Mr Ferriday came to Hartlepool to manage a photography studio in 1950 and had been a lecturer at Stockton and Billingham Technical College, as well as a former chairman of the League Against Cruel Sports.
He was also chairman of the Libraries, Museums and Arts Committee, as well as patron of the Northern Counties Horse Protection Society.