He may have lived his entire life in Ely, but the city’s former mayor Mike Rouse – who died last week – had a passion for Soham.

"Mike Rouse always said to me that I make Soham look beautiful whenever he saw my photographs which he absolutely loved and often commented on them,” said Christopher Scurrah.

“I always used to say to him that it is as you well know but you just have to see it with your own eyes which we both have done in our own unique ways over time.

“He inspired me to take up photography for local historical records with what I have done with Soham On-Line www.soham.org for the last 22 years of my life and the importance of recording local history for future generations to look back on and enjoy.”

Christopher said: “He taught me English at Soham Village College between 1980-1985 as a student and I worked with him there for many years from 2000 up until he retired.

“We were both the photographer-in-chief at Soham Village College www.sohamvc.org during our time there often taking photographs of school events together helping to record precious memories.

“We kind of had plans to use some of my best photographs I've taken in Soham for a book.

“I really wished we had now whilst he was still alive. He did two books 'Soham in Old Picture Postcards' Volumes 1 & 2.”

He added that Mike was “a much-respected teacher, work colleague, local historian, author, photographer, councillor, Mayor and friend.

“A really lovely, kind, honest, funny, intelligent and understanding human being. He will be sorely missed by so many people.

“Thinking of his family and friends during this sad time for you all which certainly includes me. #BeMoreMike “

Soham Museum said they were “so sad to hear of the death of our wonderful local historian Mike Rouse”.

A museum spokesperson described him as “a well-loved local figure.

“He was very knowledgeable about the history of his Rouse ancestors in Soham.

“And he published a wealth of local history books and supported Soham Viva Theatre Group over the years, especially as their photographer-in-chief.

“He acted as an invaluable consultant and contributor to various successful Heritage Lottery projects undertaken by Viva over the years.

“A wise and talented man who will be so much missed”.