As I was walking back to the car last Thursday, having just attended the simple but moving farewell service for Lady Beryl Tindle, images of all the wonderful times we shared with both Lady Beryl and Sir Ray came flooding into my mind.

How lucky Alasdair and I were, to have spent so much time in their company.

They were a remarkable couple – so different and so generous in a myriad of ways.

Lady Beryl was understated with a generosity of spirit, which was truly outstanding. Whether she was helping individuals to fulfil their potential with her kindness and wise words or working, unstintingly, for local charities, she was determined to make lives better.

Sir Ray, on the other hand was larger than life, with a wicked sense of humour and some awful jokes, which he told repeatedly. They still made us laugh! 

Sir Ray was very generous to both Farnham Town Council and every town mayor and he particularly enjoyed hosting business lunches in the Old Court House, with his beloved regimental silver and an array of sparkling crystal glasses on display. There was always time for a speech from the host, of course!

The fun we had in Sir Ray’s vintage cars will live forever in the memory. I recall terrifying U-turns in Castle Street, an extremely slow crawl along West Street with very strange sounds coming from the engine, which eventually spluttered to an abrupt halt in the Upper Hart Car Park and being pushed up the hill as we entered Farnham on the annual run from Frimley Park.

The banter between the helpful spectators and Sir Ray was genuinely affectionate, as they politely suggested that he really should save up and buy a reliable car.

Every Christmas town mayors past and present were invited to drinks with Sir Ray and Lady Beryl in their lovely home. They were both superb hosts and there was never a shortage of fizz, food or conversation.

Rarely did the Herald spell both our names correctly in my years as mayor. When the paper once managed to do so, I mentioned it to Sir Ray on one of these occasions. He immediately replied that there had obviously been a gross error and it would never happen again! He was right!

Sir Ray’s final gift to the outgoing mayor was an inscribed album of photographs of the mayoral year. These albums are constant reminders of the kindness of such a special couple.

They will be sorely missed but never forgotten in the town they both served so well.

Councillor Carole Cockburn

Farnham town mayor (2003/2004 and 2007/2008)

Pine Ridge Drive, Farnham