Tributes have poured in for scientist, environmentalist, political campaigner, poet and composer, Eric Alexander, who has died at the age of 80. Here, his wife Frances - the former town mayor - family and friends write about his life:

Eric, and his wife Frances, moved to High Wycombe in 1969 and became active in local Liberal politics as well as the town’s arts fraternity.

Eric was a Liberal candidate in the first elections to the new Wycombe District Council in 1973 and stood as a candidate on several subsequent occasions.

Whilst Frances was ultimately successful electorally, becoming High Wycombe’s first Liberal Democrat Mayor in 1999, Eric’s contribution was made through his political work outside the Council chamber.

Eric also made a significant contribution to the success, visibility, and credibility of Wycombe Liberal Party. With no Liberal councillors on Wycombe District Council at that time, the party’s scrutiny of the council relied very heavily indeed on Eric’s long hours in the public gallery, and his forensic examination of published council minutes and reports.

This enabled the Liberals to challenge the policies of Wycombe District Council most vigorously and successfully – so much so that the then-leader of the council, the Conservative’s Richard Holt, gave an instruction to council staff that they were not to reply to Eric’s letters or to communicate with Eric in any way.

Naturally, Eric was able to turn even this to his advantage and made public the almost certainly illegal and clearly anti-democratic instruction and got the Bucks Free Press on-side with a public campaign to overturn it, which very quickly happened.

In the early 1980s in Wycombe there was also much public debate about housing land and controversial plans for new roads which would despoil large parts of the town centre and the countryside between Wycombe and Hazlemere.

The council produced a consultation with four options – all of them awful. Eric came up with his own ‘Option 5’, which gained much public support, including posters in people’s windows along the Hughenden Road and elsewhere proclaiming to the world that the occupants “Support Option 5”.

Not only did Eric contribute to the political life of the town, but he was also a significant mover and shaker in terms of arts provision.

The fact that we now enjoy a local theatre and concert venue in the shape of Wycombe Swan owes much to Eric’s pioneering work and lobbying as part of the Wycombe District Arts Association.

The manifesto that was written for the 1995 elections was crafted by Eric, and he followed closely the work of the group, taking the minutes, and quietly keeping the group focussed.

In more recent years he had been prominent locally once again, persistently arguing against the deniers of climate change in the Bucks Free Press, using his great depth of knowledge and his erudition and mastery of argument and language to punch holes in the contributions to the letters page of those who regularly wrote in to share their lack of intellectual rigour and incomprehension of clear evidence with the newspaper’s readership.

Eric was a great support to Frances in her pioneering work in establishing and developing Wycombe’s Environment Centre.

In his retirement, he researched the work of Henry Cort, who instituted the puddling method of manufacturing wrought iron, enabling the industrial revolution to develop, ensuring Cort’s legacy was well documented.

Eric was a polite and unassuming man, but in his quiet and determined way Eric was a mover and shaker; Eric had vision and ambition; Eric got things done.

Eric leaves behind his wife Frances, their two children Philip and Louise, and four grandchildren Nonie, Richard, Edmund and Cecilia.