Town mayor dies after heart attack

PUBLISHED: 12:41 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 11 May 2010

Peter Lill

Peter Lill

ROYSTON S mayor Cllr Peter Lill died on Monday evening after earlier suffering a massive heart attack. His death came on the day which was to see the end of his mayoral year and the handing over of the chain. Cllr Lill, 67, complained of sickness on Monda

ROYSTON'S mayor Cllr Peter Lill died on Monday evening after earlier suffering a massive heart attack.

His death came on the day which was to see the end of his mayoral year and the handing over of the chain.

Cllr Lill, 67, complained of sickness on Monday morning and then collapsed. He was taken to the Lister hospital in Stevenage where he died at about 5pm.

His sudden death shocked members of Royston Town Council and the wider community as a whole.

Cllr Lynn Berry, the leader of the town council, said: "Peter served the public through most of his life in his job as a firefighter and then as a councillor.

"He was proud to have been mayor twice and was enthusiastic about carrying out his duties in the community."

"I know I speak for all the councillors when I say that we are deeply shocked by his death," she said.

The town council cancelled its annual meeting on Monday evening.

Members will meet on Monday to appoint Cllr Paul Grimes as the new mayor. He had been deputy mayor for the past 12 months as deputy mayor.

Cllr Lill leaves a wife, Wendy, whom he married at Royston Parish Church in December, and a son, John, 44, and daughter, Angela Johnson, 41.

He had five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

He was Mayor of Royston for the past 12 months and previously in 2003-04 after being elected to the town council for the then town ward in 1998.

This came after the one time when he stood as a Conservative candidate in Royston for North Herts District Council in 1995.

He had been a governor at Tannery Drift School and for a time was a committee member at the Royston branch of the Royal British Legion.

Indeed, Joe McDonald, the branch welfare officer, described him as "a man of the people".

"We are really upset and are devastated by his sudden death," said Mr McDonald.

Cllr Lill, who lived in Mackerel Hall, Royston, was born in London's East End in 1941 and it was after the death of his parents in 1959 that he joined the Royal Air Force and was eventually posted to Bassingbourn.

His service took him to places around the world although he said the most memorable was being attached to the Royal Ghurkha Rifles in Borneo.

On leaving the RAF, he worked for a year for the Atlas company in Meldreth before joining the Hertfordshire Fire Service.

He served in Letchworth, Stevenage, Baldock, Hertford and then become station officer at Royston in 1972. He took early retirement from the fire service in 1990.

This came after he had spent three months on an advanced course to become a station officer at the National Fire Service technical college at Moreton-in-the-Marsh.

Rad Bristow, who has just left as station officer at Royston Fire Station, described him as "a lovely man".

Outside work he ran two judo clubs and qualified in the sport as a black belt.

Although during the past 12 months he had been involved in his mayoral duties he gave much time, too, to his mayoral charity for the Lewin Stroke Unit at Addenbrooke's and the Royston Stroke Club at The Old Barn in Upper King Street.

His wife attended the club after she had suffered a stroke.

The club's leader, Mandy Byrne, said: "We have lost a real supporter."

* THE funeral of Cllr Peter Lill will be taking place at Royston Parish Church on Friday, May 23 at 2pm.

A collection at the service will be donated to Cllr Lill's mayoral charity.

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