TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Lymington mayor who has died aged 90.

Valerie Shepherd was born in Eltham, south London, but lived in Lymington for more than 30 years and was mayor for two terms in the 1980s.

She was an art teacher at Noadswood School in Dibden Purlieu before becoming head of art at Arnewood School in New Milton. Mrs Shepherd was also secretary - and later chairman of the Lymington Society.

She also agreed to become secretary of the Norley Wood Society, formed to fight plans by the Forestry Commission to build two caravan sites in the area. The proposal was later dropped. Mrs Shepherd joined Lymington and Pennington Town Council in 1980. She was elected deputy mayor and in 1985 began the first of her two stints as Lymington’s first citizen. In 2001 she moved to Kent to be near her daughter.