TRIBUTES have been paid to a former teacher and town twinning extraordinaire who has died at the age of 89.

David Hindley was known throughout Tynedale thanks to his involvement in an array community groups - from the Hexham Abbey Choir to Corbridge Cricket Club.

David was born in Dorset, and read history at Exeter before studying for a Masters degree.

He met his wife, Susan, in 1959. The couple married in 1961 and had two children - Simon and Alison - before moving to the Tyne Valley in 1967.

David had spent time in Corbridge studying the Romans on two occasions, and the couple had Hexham on their list of places they’d like to live - but never imagined they’d be able to.

However, David got a job teaching at Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School, where he taught from 1967 until 1988.

Despite his love of teaching, it was only a small part of his life.

He was a well-known member of the Tynedale Rotary Club, and served as chair for one term and secretary twice.

A spokesman for the rotary club said: “David was a life-long advocate for the ideals of town twinning and continued to support our activities long after his terms of office.

“He and his wife Susan never missed the opportunity to join in town twinning visits to both Noyon and Metzingen, making the most of travelling overland to stop at various destinations en route.

“In October 2012 Metzingen’s Bürgermeister Dr Fritz Kemmler presented David with a Bürgermedaille, a rare honour for a British citizen, equivalent perhaps to our being awarded the freedom of the city.”

David also led the trip to sign the formal twinning agreement with Noyon.

His widow, Susan, said: “He loved town twinning. It was very special.

“We’ve got a lot of great friends in Germany and France, and we had some lovely trips.

“It really opened our eyes to travelling.”

David was also an avid sportsman - he played cricket for Corbridge and was the club’s longest-serving vice president. He also a member at Hexham Rowing Club from the late 1960s, where he was a cox. As if he wasn’t busy enough, David also sang - he was in the Abbey Choir for a number of years.

After he retired from teaching, he also took up book binding - turning it into a small business.

Susan added: “Everything he did, he did really thoroughly and fully - his teaching, his rotary work, and his town twinning.”