TRIBUTES have flooded in following the death of a former Romsey mayor, who lived in the market town for 55 years.

Brian Palmer, who was Romsey's mayor from 1976 to 1977, passed away on Sunday, May 3 in Redhill Court Residential Care Home, Birmingham.

Now his family and community leaders have paid tribute to the 91-year-old who "loved Romsey to bits".

Brian served as a county councillor for Romsey between 1973 and 1977 and as a Test Valley Borough Councillor from 1979 to 1983, but stood down from both roles when he was posted to the United States by IBM.

However, on his return to the area, he was re-elected to Romsey Town Council and Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) in 1987, where he represented Romsey Cupernham.

The councillor served as TVBC mayor from 1996 to 1997 and was the chairman of Southern Planning Sub-Committee between 1995 and 1998.

In 2003 he stood down from his borough and town council roles.

Romsey Advertiser:

Brian's oldest son, Phil Palmer, said: "He was a Romsey man through and through and loved the town to bits.

"He was a family man, he was always good for a joke and he used to like reciting old time poetry, such as The Lion and Albert, to us in a Yorkshire accent because that was one of his party pieces.

"I will remember the trips to the beach at the weekend with him and I have very strong memories of trips into the New Forest to have picnics, because when I think of dad that is what I think of.

"Dad had a real love of classical music and he used to play the drums at the Plaza Theatre for the pantomimes during Christmas; he did that for quite a few years during the 80s."

The 64-year-old added: "We had a small cremation yesterday and towards the end of this year or next year we are hoping we can book the Town Hall so we can invite his family and friends."

Romsey Advertiser:

Brian's daughter, Nicola Robin, said: "He was a great dad, loved a party and had a very caring relationship with his five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

"Myself and my brothers Phil and Mike had a lot of great holidays in France because mum, Pam, and dad loved to travel there.

"Him and mum were a lovely couple and they got on very well; they travelled around the world on cruises and had some great holidays together."

The 62-year-old added: "He was a much-loved husband, dad and friend so it is sad he will not be around anymore."

Romsey Advertiser:

READ: Retired journalist dies at 90-years-old >>>

Cllr John Parker, who represents Romsey Tadburn on the borough council, said “Brian did an excellent job as chairman of Southern Planning”

John added: "I think the last time I saw him was sitting with his friends and a pint just behind the door at the Old House at Home."

Cllr Mark Cooper, who represents Romsey Tadburn on the borough council, said: "Brian was always kind and loyal to his colleagues - he was a liberal through and through.

"At school he was taught by William Golding... now there’s a thought. He never told me which boy in Lord of the Flies he was.”

Brian lived in Romsey from 1964 to 2019.