TRIBUTES were paid this week to a Corbridge man who was knighted for his dedication to public service.

Sir Peter Carr (87) died at his home on October 21, after suffering ill health as a result of Parkinson’s Disease.

He moved to the village more than 30 years ago when he came to the North-East to take up senior Government posts, including regional director of the Department of Employment.

In various roles, he took a leading role in economic and community regeneration projects in the wake of the closure of shipyards and collieries.

After retirement from the civil service, he became chairman of the County Durham Development Company, before being appointed chairman of the Northern Regional Health Authority 1990.

From here he embarked on more than a quarter of a century in the stewardship of health services across the North-East.

Following the abolition of the regional authority, he went on to chair the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Strategic Health Authority, and subsequently the North-East Strategic Health Authority.

He was a much respected and trusted figure, overseeing wholesale reforms and major projects, including the construction and expansion of Hexham General Hospital.

He was knighted in 2007. He retired from office last year.

His death prompted a joint tribute from NHS bodies across the region: “Sir Peter has helped achieve a legacy which will be changing, and saving, lives well into the time of his grandchildren’s grandchildren and beyond.

“He was a man of deep modesty, who always refused – no matter the evidence – to accredit himself with anything more than just having had a ‘steering hand’.”

He climbed to high public office despite humble beginnings as an apprentice cabinet maker in Yorkshire.

With the help of sponsorship from his union, he went on to study at Ruskin College, in Oxford.

After service in the RAF, he joined the diplomatic service, culminating in a posting to Washington, during the presidencies of both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

He returned from the States to the UK to take up a series of senior civil service positions in the North-East.

But he never completely abadoned his apprentice trade. And much of his spare time was spent in the workshop at his home, building American colonial-style furniture.

Sir Peter leaves a widow, Geraldine, a son, daughter and four grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at West Road Cemetery, Newcastle, on Monday, November 6. A memorial event will be held in the King’s Hall, Newcastle University, on December 18.