FOND tributes have been paid to a popular "gentleman" of the Moreton community, who died earlier this month.

Gerry Tyack, the driving force behind Moreton’s Wellington Aviation Museum, passed away at his home suddenly on January 4.

The 90-year-old, who had a great knowledge of motor cars and aircraft, had recently enjoyed a birthday celebration at Farncombe Estate, near Broadway.

Among his wide range of achievements, he became famous for his success in Hill Climbs and Speed Events and held two C Class International World Speed Records from 1966 with a Brabham B21C.

His son, Edward, said: "He certainly lived a very full life. He had some amazing experiences. He had friendships which lasted for a lifetime which I think says a lot about him. He will be greatly missed."

Born to parents Harry Tyack and Sarah Gillett in Moreton in 1923, Mr Tyack went to Chipping Campden Grammar School before joining the RAF as an engineer when he was 16, two years before he was supposed to.

He enlisted in the RAF Voluntary Reserve in 1940 and was initially posted to the Wellington Operational training Unit at Basingbourn before moving to the 30 Mobile Unit and worked on the Hercules aircraft engine.

He also volunteered for Combined Operation duties at Royal Air Force Chigwell.

After his demob in December 1945, he returned to Moreton to run the family business, the former Curfew Garage in the High Street.

He married his ex-wife Patricia in 1949 and they had two children, Janet and Edward.

After retiring in 1988, he opened the aviation gallery and museum in 1990 in the garage's former workshop, in Broadway Road, where he built up a fantastic collection of memorabilia.

His fundraising for the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) and Cheshire Homes earned him recognition with an MBE in 1999 and he also instigated and designed a memorial for Moreton airman which stands outside the Fire Service College.

Town councillor Rod Hooper said he had known Mr Tyack all his life.

"He was a real gentle man to the community of Moreton," he said. "He was involved in a lot of stuff in Moreton. He was a very popular man, a stalwart.

"He was a gentleman who will be greatly missed by people like myself who have lived in Moreton all their lives."

Mr Tyack is survived by his partner Ann Selby Rickards, who supported him during the founding and running of the museum, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

His funeral is tomorrow at St James' Church, Chipping Campden, at 11am.