A PLAQUE has been unveiled in memory of a long-serving and popular councillor who served his community for almost 50 years.

Alan Gibson, who died in October aged 81, was a Conservative member of Hurworth Parish Council, as well as a former member of Darlington Borough Council.

The plaque, which has accompanies a tree planted by the parish council in memory of Mr Gibson, was dedicated in a ceremony on Saturday.

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It was attended by parish council, members, friends and family, including Mr Gibson’s three grown-up children - Elizabeth, Adele and Mike.

Born in Masham, North Yorkshire, Mr Gibson was an electrical engineer by trade and lived in Hurworth for decades, joining the parish council to fuel his love for debate and desire to help his local community.

His daughter, Elizabeth Harker, who still lives in the village, said one of her father’s proudest moments was being invited to represent the parish council at a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

He was married to his wife, Brenda, who died in 2001, for more than 45 years and the couple have two grandchildren - 17-year-old Victoria and Charlotte, 20.

Mrs Harker said: “Family was really important to Dad; he was a real family man and a real man’s man.

“We are really proud that the parish council has chosen to remember him in this way - it is a really nice gesture.”