A former chairman of Torridge District Council and mayor of Northam has died aged 103.

Keith Evers was a district council ward member for Northam, elected on five separate occasions and serving as a District Councillor for 20 years, from 1975 to 1995.

From 1983-83 he was chairman of the council. Keith was also the first ever chairman of the old Northam Urban District Council from 1971-1972, which he had joined in 1964.

He had three spells as mayor of Northam, in 1982-83, in 1990-91, and finally in 1999-2000.

In 2012 the former Army officer was made an honorary alderman of Northam Town Council.

Keith Evers.Keith Evers.

At the time he told the Gazette: “It came out of the blue, I didn’t know anything about it – in fact I had never known there was such a thing.

“It is a tremendous honour, although I have not really done very much myself, I don’t think.”

Keith, who was also a founder member of Northam Twinning Association, was married to his late wife Joan, and haf four children: Ralph, Marian, Gwyneth and Stephen.

Torridge District Councillors have paid tribute to Keith since his death.

Councillor Jane Whittaker, leader of Torridge District Council, said: “Keith was a delightful man, an absolute gentleman, and a very good District Councillor.

“He was also very well regarded by his fellow councillors at Northam which was why he was honoured by being made an Alderman of Northam Town Council in 2012.”

Jenny Wallace, head of paid service at Torridge, added: “Keith was a gentleman and a pleasure to work with.

“He was a committed councillor who always did what he thought was best for the people he represented and he made a positive contribution to our Council. Our condolences to his family at this sad time.”

Councillor Peter Christie, ward member for Bideford North, recalled fond memories of Keith.

He said “I recall Keith well - always immaculately dressed and a real old ‘English’ gentleman.

“We didn’t agree on much but he was always polite and had a keen grasp of details when involved in discussions.”

The flag will be flying at half-mast in respect at Riverbank House in Bideford.