TRIBUTES have been paid to a long standing contributor to the Evesham Journal.

Douglas Wathen, of Oakfields, Rushford, had been a reader of the Journal for more than 30 years, often writing letters which were published in the paper, and was always keen to engage with community issues.

The 90-year-old has passed away after a period of illness. His son Gary Wathen said: “He was notorious for his strong views in the area, on the themes like traffic and road laying.

“I’m sure he was the bane of the editor’s life, but his comments were very thought provoking and he continued writing very eloquently even at the age of 90.”

Mr Wathen was a well-known and vocal member of the community, commenting on issues from the quality of food at his stay at the Alexandra Hospital in 2014, to the government’s relaxed planning of bricks and concrete constructions in 2012 when he wrote: “What are the ramifications of the Government’s relaxed planning of bricks and concrete constructions?

“We shouldn’t be fooled by the politicians so easily.

“The relaxation of the rules, enabling indiscriminate extensions to one’s house to help the economy, will be miniscule but will lead to frustration for neighbours and disaster for the environment.

“It will be an El Dorado for the cowboy builder and the greedy landlord.”

Mr Wathen had previously worked as a sales director in Quinney’s Redditch before retiring at around the age of 60.