Tributes have been paid to a community spirited resident who is well-known through his multi-roles dressed up in character to bring history alive for educational and entertainment.

Richard Martin was also involved in helping the evolving community-based Tavistock Neighbourhood Development Plan, (NDP), which will guide the town’s future.

Richard researched his own family roots and claimed to be an ancestor of Richard III.

Jan Horrell senior library supervisor at Tavistock Library, said: ‘Richard Martin was a long-time friend of the Library in Tavistock, in more recent years, the valued secretary and treasurer to the Friends of Tavistock Library, whose fundraising activities he supported with quiz questions, raffles and even dressing up.

‘Richard enjoyed creating order and his eye for detail was much appreciated by all, more recently in creating maps for the Tavistock Town Council Neighbourhood Development Plan.

‘Everyone at the library appreciated his commitment and enthusiasm. We remember him with a smile for his dry humour and amazing stories of a working life in the Middle East.

‘If you want to find out more, do borrow his book The Itinerant Engineer from the library!

‘Richard lived a full life and the library would like to celebrate him as a friend.’

Ursula Mann, town councillor and NDP lead, praised Richard for his support on the NDP as a highly active steering group member:.

She said: ‘Richard was a great contributor to the steering group, producing the maps and posters and acting as finance coordinator. We will miss his positive energy and wisdom on the group.

‘When, as chair, I met him at his home for the project over tea and shortbread, he shared stories about the adventurous life he led while working in both Nairobi and Oman.

‘He had researched his family tree extensively and had a beautiful copy on his wall, which he could point to and tell interesting stories about the knaves and heroes in his ancestry, including that he was related to Richard III.

‘I am sad that I won’t share a cup of tea with him again and send my condolences as well as the steering group’s to his family and friends.’