Former town mayor dies

A long-serving councillor who represented both Hemel Hempstead and Cranfield during his political career has died at the age of 84.

John Doyle was mayor of Hemel Hempstead from 1969 to 70 - the first Conservative representative of the town in 13 years following a political landslide.

His family described him as a hard-working family man who was dedicated to serving his community.

Mr Doyle was born in Dublin, and served in the RAF in the far east before moving to Hemel Hempstead in the 1947 where he met his future wife Mary, a nurse, who he married on October 31, 1950.

As well as working at Lucas Aerospace he began his political career in the town, becoming one of the local authority's first Conservative members in 1965.

A political turnaround in 1969 saw the first Tory majority on the borough council in over a decade with 20 Conservative councillors, nine Labour aldermen and seven Labour councillors.

Mr Doyle was given the highest accolade of being nominated as mayor, at the age of 43, by his fellow councillors.

He was also prominently involved in charity work in his adopted town, being a founder member of both the Friends of St Mary's Church and of the Hospital League of Friends, and was a school governor.

When he moved to Cranfield in 1991 he again immersed himself in his new community. He represented the Bedfordshire village for four years from 1995-1999 as an independent under the Cranfield Matters Party banner.

As well as campaigning from the council for amenities for Cranfield, he was a member of Woburn Sands and District Probus Club.

Mr Doyle was born in Dublin in 1925 and died on Monday, November 16 after a two-year battle with cancer.

He is survived by his wife Mary, their daughter Clare, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Did you know Mr Doyle? Pay tribute by clicking here.