Tribute has been paid to former Ely mayor Walter Bebbington who has died at the age of 95.

Walter moved his young family from their hometown in Blackburn to Ely in 1967, in order to take up the role as the new headmaster of Ely St Mary’s Church of England Junior School.  

Although he was new to the area, Walter soon became closely involved with St Mary’s Church, eventually becoming a churchwarden.  

He oversaw the planning, building and moving of the junior school to its current location close to High Barns Avenue.  

Walter formed strong bonds with the local builders and supportive parents who helped complete the imposing project,  finally taking up residence in 1971 and continuing his role until his retirement in 1990.

Thousands of local children passed through St Mary’s School during this period with Walter at the helm, offering a positive educational environment.

After retiring, Walter took a year out to catch up on reading and travel before he once more threw himself into serving the community by successfully being elected onto East Cambs District Council and Ely City Council.  

He took a special interest in local planning issues and community projects and by 1993, Walter was elected mayor of Ely.

During his time in office, he campaigned passionately for the Ely Community Unit to be funded, along with the rehabilitation flat at The Princess of Wales Hospital.  

Keen to put his educational experiences to good use, Walter became governor of both Witchford Village College and King's School Ely for several years.  

He was also a Trustee of several charities, including Trinity Dole, Thomas Parsons Charity, Ely Community Unit and the Ely Museum.

Walter was also closely involved with the building of St Mary’s church room, which has become a valuable community hub for Ely and the church community.  

He is survived by his wife, sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren.