FORMER councillor Eric Lawson joined the Labour Party when he was just 15 and went on to represent two areas in Kirklees.
Mr Lawson, who represented Heckmondwike and Newsome, died in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary aged 75.
He was born in Manchester and did his National Service in the RAF before becoming a lab technician for ICI. Mr Lawson went on to study social administration at the London School of Economics.
He moved to the Spen Valley in the 1970s and ran a market stall in Cleckheaton. During this time he also ran the best-selling amateur newspaper in England, the Spen Valley Spark, with a circulation of 2,500. His journalistic nom de plume was Big Ears.
In 1983 he was elected to represent Heckmondwike on Kirklees Council, but lost his seat four years later.
In 1992, having moved to Paddock, Mr Lawson was elected to represent the Newsome ward. He chaired the council’s environment committee in the mid-1990s.
Councillors stood for a minute’s silence in memory of Mr Lawson at last week’s monthly meeting. Clr Margaret Bates was among those who paid tribute to him.
The Liversedge and Gomersal Conservative said: “I thought he was a great guy and a great character. I wonder what heaven will be like with him there.”
Mr Lawson is survived by wife Carole, and their children Dan, Jodie and Matthew.
His funeral took place at Rose Hill Burial Ground in Birkby last Friday.