Tributes have been paid to a ‘gentle, kind and quiet’ councillor who was ‘a pillar of the community’.

Chris Dobbs, Bothenhampton and Walditch parish councillor, died on August 29 aged 77.

After serving in the Royal Navy, Chris became a teacher and was appointed head of Symondsbury Primary School in 1979. It was here he met his beloved ‘Dorset maid’ Margaret. They then spent around 20 years in Bushey, Herts, where Chris was again headteacher, returning regularly to their old stomping ground in Bothenhampton.

After his retirement to Bothenhampton, Chris devoted the rest of his life to his community, continuing this work even after Margaret’s death in 2016.

He was active in charity work, raising thousands of pounds for those in need, in particular as chairman of the local branch of the Save the Children fund.

He was a well-respected clerk of the Bothenhampton and Walditch Parish Council for 12 years until he became a councillor in May 2019, a position he held until his death. He was also a volunteer at Bridport Museum.

A spokesman for Bothenhampton and Walditch Parish Council said: “He did all this and more because he loved the area and cared about others, their quality of life and their surroundings.

“In Chris’ service to his community, he was an example to us all.

“He particularly enjoyed in later life sitting outside his cottage on the high pavement in Bothenhampton, in the sunshine, chatting with everyone who passed by.

“Chris was a gentle, kind and quiet man, deeply loved and missed by all who knew him.”

Villagers will have a last chance to say goodbye to Chris on October 8 when his ashes will be interred in Bothenhampton old church after a procession along Main Street.

The spokesman added: “The last words should go to Chris himself, from a letter he wrote to friends earlier in the year and which was posted up on his front door after his death: ‘I’m so grateful for your love and friendship and I know that Margaret had the same feelings. It’s been a joy to live in Bothenhampton… you mean so much to me and over the years have brought me so much happiness. Thank you’. Thank you, Chris.”