Alderman and former Hartlepool Mayor Ray Waller dies aged 75

LONG SERVING: Ray Waller, who died at the weekend
LONG SERVING: Ray Waller, who died at the weekend

AN ALDERMAN, former Hartlepool Mayor and long-serving councillor died at the weekend following a short illness.

Alderman Ray Waller, who served as a councillor for 44 years and was also a Freeman, died aged 75 in Hartlepool and District Hospice on Saturday.

Born in West Hartlepool in 1939, Alderman Waller was first elected as a councillor to the South Ward at the age of 23.

He went on to serve Hartlepool Council until his retirement in 2007. The popular figure was also a prominent county councillor and was Chairman of Cleveland County Council in 1987/88.

The straight-talking Labour councillor was chair of governors at Hartlepool College of Further Education for 26 years from 1981 to 2007 and was also a former governor of Rossmere Primary School and Brierton Comprehensive School.

He was also the first Chairman of Cleveland Fire Authority when it was set up in 1996.

• See Tuesday’s Hartlepool Mail for tributes and leave your messages below.