A legendary councillor who went from being a youthful leader of the Slough authority in the 1970s to a much admired veteran member 40 years later has died aged 83.

Derek Cryer died at home in Langley last week. He had been suffering from cancer and was cared for at the end by his wife of 63 years Eleanor.

She described her husband as 'one of the wittiest and funniest of men, known for his humour, humanity and honesty'.

They met when Staffordshire born Mr Cryer was a soldier with the Grenadier Guards based in Windsor.

He was first elected to Slough Council as member for Langley ward from 1967 to 1973 and served as deputy mayor.

His extraordinary comeback in 2000 led to a 10 year stint serving Langley St Mary's ward.

Between 2004 and 2008, Councillor Cryer was also a cabinet member as part of a joint administration, serving as commissioner for social services and social care.

He played a key part of the creation of the extra-care housing in Wexham - a project his wife describes as the one he was proudest of.

She said that he had been offered the chance to be mayor three times but always turned it down because he wanted to be an active working councillor and not a figurehead.

He led the Conservative group again twice from 2002 to 2004 and 2008 to 2009 but he ended his council career a year later as an independent.

His wife Eleanor puts it discreetly,saying: "He left because he was asked to do things that did not fit in with his ethics."

Current council leader Cllr James Swindlehurst said: “Derek was the epitome of a gentleman, always well-mannered, always polite, and always respectful. He will be missed and my thoughts and those of the council are with his wife Eleanor and all his family and friends.”

He leaves his wife Eleanor, daughter Christine, son-in-law Peter, grandson Philip and granddaughter Naomi

Mrs Cryer said a quiet family funeral would be held - but that a celebration of her husband's life will take place at the Pines Hotel in Burnham when the COVID-19 crisis is passed.