LES Stainthorp, custodian of Whitby Abbey for 27 years, has died at the age of 73.

One of the town's best known residents, Mr Stainthorp was a locomotive fireman with the London and North-Eastern Railway before becoming the urban council policeman in Whitby, looking after the authority's property and parks.

Mr Stainthorp was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1991 and was made an honorary citizen of Whitby by the town council. He was a former president of Whitby Fishermen's Rowing Club and was a leading historian in the town. He was also a prominent member of the Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society, Royal British Legion and the Lions Club.

He leaves a widow and four children.

His funeral will be held at St Mary's Parish Church, Whitby, on Monday