Tributes have been paid to popular Horley shopowner and founding member of the town's Chamber of Commerce Peter Alan Tyrrell, who has died aged 86.

Mr Tyrrell, who for many years ran the Peter Tyrrell DIY shop in Victoria Road, died at home with his family around him on June 4, after a long illness.

He leaves behind his wife Janet, three children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

His funeral was held at Surrey and Sussex Crematorium on June 12, and was attended by about 80 people. Born in South London in 1928, Mr Tyrrell was the youngest of seven children.

He lived in Sutton for a time and was called up for National Service, which he completed in Belgium, before moving to Horley, where he opened two shops in Victoria Road – the first originally where Lloyds Pharmacy is today, and the second where Seldens is now.

A qualified electrician, his brother Basil used to help him in his shop, from which he retired from running about ten years ago Former chairman of Horley and District Chamber of Commerce, Peter von Staerck, described Mr Tyrrell as “a lovely man.”

Mr von Staerck said: “He was softly spoken - had all the time in the world to help you.

“In fact, he was the first shopkeeper I spoke to when I moved to Horley in 1979.”

He said: “He was a founding member of Horley and District Chamber of Commerce. “For many years he organised the Dickensian Night at Christmas and had all the High Street and Victoria Road and part of Massetts Road joining in.”

Mr von Staerck added that Mr Tyrrell also organised a monthly afternoon tea for elderly local people in the St John Ambulance Hall in Massetts Road for many years.

Horley town mayor and town council chairman Richard Olliver paid tribute, calling Mr Tyrrell “a pillar of the Horley community.”

Coun Olliver said: "He ran the DIY place in Horley for many, many years, and was the main outlet for those of us trying to do things at home by ourselves in Horley.

“He was always very friendly and helpful. He's been a stalwart of the Horley community and we're sorry to see him go.”