ALCESTER came to a standstill for the funeral of much-loved former mayor Eric Payne.
Hundreds of people lined the streets of the market town on Friday where he lived all his life to pay their respects to one of their own.
Led by the Alcester Victoria Silver Band, the procession wound its way through the streets and included both local, district and county dignitaries as well as representatives from the groups he loved, including Alcester Male Voice Choir, of which he was a member, and the Alcester Bellringers, who he captained.
Coun Payne died on October 10 after a short illness, aged 78.
He lived in Alcester all his life, was born in Bleachfield Street, the third of seven children, and was educated at St Faith’s School.
Together with his wife Maggie he played a prominent role in the town while never seeking the limelight for himself.
He was a town and district councillor. He twice served as mayor of Alcester, and was chair of Stratford District Council in 2011-12.
His friend and colleague Coun Mike Gittus said: “Eric was a wonderful man; he was passionate about the people of Alcester and that was well reflected by the fact that the community of Alcester came out in their hundreds to give him a jolly good send off.
“It was a great day and a great celebration of his life and although he was a modest man and might even have been slightly embarrassed by all the fuss but it just showed how highly he was held by the people of Alcester. He will be dearly missed.”
The service in St Nicholas’ Church closed with ‘Bring Mer Sunshine’ by Morecambe and Wise and was followed by committal at Alcester Cemetery.