TIRELESS social campaigner and scourge of the establishment Bill Purdie has died at the age of 89.

The Marlow resident was a regular attendee at town council meetings with strong political views about the future of the town.

He was also a regular contributor to the Bucks Free Press with his letters, and an accomplished poet.

His son David, who owns a photography gallery in East Sussex, said: "He was a professional trouble maker - not in a nasty way - but he liked a bit of friction."

Mr Purdie was born in Wallsend, North Tyneside in 1918. After leaving school he went to work in the shipyards, the town's major employer. While in his teens he met Eva, his wife to be.

After the Second World War he won a place at Ruskin College, Oxford, which was set up to provide education for working class people who would not otherwise have the chance to attend a university.

Mr Purdie came to Marlow in 1970. The former Wallsend Councillor campaigned for issues including affordable housing and energy conservation, and was never shy about expressing his views.

Doug Anson, who sits on the town council and Wycombe District Council and Buckinghamshire County Councils, said: "He was a very colourful character and we certainly loved him being in the public gallery.

"He showed great concern for the residents of Marlow, and when he had something to say he put it forward vigorously.

"I'm saddened to hear that he died so suddenly and he will be sadly missed."

Mr Purdie passed away on January 5 after suffering from a chest infection. Proud of his lifelong atheism, he did not want a funeral, and was cremated without a service.

He leaves behind a son, David, and daughter, Janet.