TRIBUTES have been paid to much-loved family man, long-serving Rotarian and former butcher, who has died age 88.

George Relph was born in Great Broughton and was the third generation of his family to work as a master butcher. He was married to Maureen for 64 years and had three sons, Roland, Richard and Geoffrey, who died in 2013.

Mr Relph’s family said: “He will be greatly missed by his eight grandchildren and one great grandchild, who all have such special memories of their Granda George: a real family man and a true gentleman.”

Mr Relph grew up learning the skills of the butcher trade, including working in the family abattoir, raising cattle and sheep.

He will be remembered by many for his work in the shop at Great Broughton, as well as for driving one of the three travelling shops that the family took to Greysouthen, Clifton, Brigham, Eaglesfield and further afield.

Roland said: “After I came home from school on Fridays my mum would drive me to Clifton to meet dad, I was his door knocker and delivery boy. We travelled through the villages sometimes not getting back until 10 at night.”

Mr and Mrs Relph bought a shop on Main Street in Cockermouth and became well known for their prize-winning Cumberland sausages. The couple ran their successful business there for 18 years, supplying hotels and regular customers.

Mr Relph joined the board of Mitchells Auction company in 1978 and served for 25 years, including four as chairman. He was also an active member of Cockermouth Rotary Club for 48 years, working tirelessly to raise money, attend events, represent and promote Cockermouth.

Fellow Rotarian Joe Fagan said: “George’s material input into the club was immeasurable, his overall commitment above and beyond all expectations.

“He and Maureen travelled the world with Rotary and have made everlasting friendships throughout. George, along with Maureen, have been a formidable team in the Cockermouth club, ever present and supportive at all Rotary events. To me George was Rotary and a true gentleman.”

The family plan to hold a memorial service at a later date.