Tributes pour in for Wisbech's former beadle Alister Hopkins who has died today
Tributes have been paid to Wisbech's former town beadle Alister Hopkins who has died following a short illness.
Mr Hopkins died in the early hours of this morning (29) after suffering a short illness since November.
The former police officer, who always "had a twinkle in his eye" was town beadle from 2003 to 2014. In 2014 a staff shake up saw the post changed and Mr Hopkins took advantage of his redundancy to play golf and spend time with family especially when he became a grandfather in 2017.
Mr Hopkins was particularly proud of his Scottish roots and loved nothing better than an excuse to wear his kilt.
They wrote: "It is with extreme sadness that we have heard of the death of Alister Hopkins, Wisbech Town Beadle 2003-2014. Condolences to friends and family, especially Sue.
"On 14 April 2003, Alister Hopkins commenced work as the new Wisbech Town Beadle. Alister became a regular and welcome sight out with the mayor. He was a great asset to Wisbech and Wisbech Town Council.
"Following on from a long career in the police, Alister was diligent in civic procedure and protocol, and took great pride in looking after the mayor and civic regalia. He also was a credit to, and loved promoting, Wisbech although not a native of the town. If you met him you may have noticed a ‘slight’ Scottish accent - even after so many years away from his native Scotland his Greenock burr was still in evidence. He was very proud of his Scottish roots, and loved nothing better than a good Burns Night or an excuse to wear his kilt.
"Alister loved getting involved with local activities and helping people; out of Beadling duties he could be seen assisting at St Raphael, or raising money for local causes. He always put 110 per cent into whatever he was involved with. Accompanying the mayor, Alister would combine his duties with charm and although he took his role seriously, always had a twinkle in his eye.
"At town events he was always ready to join in the fun. A long-running joke was George Dunlop hopping off Vivien the fire engine during the Rose Fair parade to offer a bribe of a plate of biscuits. From the youngest baby to the oldest resident, Alister always raised a smile and was loved and respected by so many people.
"He will be greatly missed."
Dozens of messages of sympathy have been posted to the town council's Facebook page in tribute to Mr Hopkins from councillors, dignitaries and members of the public.