A heartfelt tribute has been paid to Baldrick, the cat about town.

One of Shipston’s most-loved residents has died, aged just five years old.

Baldrick was known by almost everyone in the town for his explorations, often popping into local shops, and has grown a 1,000-strong following on social media since owner Iona Corbett launched his Facebook page in February.

“He will be hugely missed,” said Iona.

“I didn’t realise at first how much joy he brought to people locally but he had people following his stories as far off as New Zealand, Ohio in the USA, South Africa and Egypt.

“Some of the locals want a bench or statue set up in his memory and they want me to write a book.”

READ MORE: 'Heartbroken' owner’s plea as popular cat left to die after being hit by car

Cotswold Journal: Baldrick wasn't afraid to make himself comfortable at local shops and cafesBaldrick wasn't afraid to make himself comfortable at local shops and cafes (Image: The Explorations of Baldrick, the cat about town)

Iona, a 46-year-old training and development Officer for Farming Community Network, only moved to Shipston in November.

Living on Berry Avenue with her children, Iona wasn’t sure how Baldrick would cope with his new surroundings, having lived the first few years of his life on a farm.

Reflecting on when she first adopted him, Iona said: “I’ve always had cats as pets growing up and our house at the time was missing some feline company.

“A lady local to where we were living at the time (Epwell) had not long had a litter of three.

“We only intended on having one cat but there was Baldrick and his brother, and the kids decided they wanted one each, so we ended up having both of the boys.”

It was in February that Iona first started to notice how popular her cat was becoming, as people started sharing photos and videos of him on Facebook.

She added:” I was mortified and embarrassed as each day he seemed to turn up somewhere else, everyone else found it funny!

“The turning point was when he visited the pet shop Creature Comforts and stole one of their catnip toys and proceeded to play chew it in the shop.

“They filmed him and sent it to me and posted it on the noticeboard, then others started to say how hilarious he was and he should have his own Facebook page.

“By this point I was being messaged daily with pictures so I caved and set him up a page of his own so it could be collated in one place.”

Since then, Baldrick’s page has gathered over 1,000 followers.

To thank the community for looking out for her beloved pet, Iona organised an egg hunt around Shipston at Easter.

He also became an ambassador for Shipston Home Nursing and took part in a photoshoot for their adverts, with his Facebook followers having raised £250 for the charity.

Baldrick died on Bank Holiday Monday after being hit by a car on Telegraph Street.