Chester's much-loved amateur author and historian Len Morgan passed away this morning following a short illness.
Len, who spent most of his life dedicated to promoting Chester as a historic city and wrote several books about it, died peacefully at the Countess of Chester Hospital in the early hours of this morning (Monday, August 6).
Although Len lived in Handbridge for almost seven decades, he had spent the last months of his life at Aaron Court Care Home in Ellesmere Port where only two weeks ago he was specially honoured with a visit from the Saltney and Saltney Ferry History Group he was part of for decades.
The group performed a special celebration of his career and a nostalgic trip down memory lane for Len, who in 2016 was granted the Honorary Freeman of the Borough, and the nostalgic event made Len 'light up like a Christmas tree' according to his son Dave.
Len was born in 1933 within the City Walls in White Friars which he always used to say made him a 'true Cestrian', and spent most of his life extolling the city's numerous virtues in his famous slideshows, his 'nook and cranny' walks around Chester's side streets and Old Cemetery tours of Handbridge.
After leaving school at 14, he became a stonemason working on various old buildings and taking interesting photos with his box Brownie camera, which his family say was the beginning of his love affair with all things historical relating to Chester and the surrounding areas.
In May 1955, Len married wife Joan at St Mark's Church in Saltney after meeting her at a dance in Hawarden Gym, a stone's throw from where Len was posted during his National Service as an RAF medic in North Wales.
Joan and Len, who later worked for Post Office Telephones, went on to have three children, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren, who described them as 'perfect parents' who set a wonderful example of how to spend love, time and interest.
Speaking to The Chronicle on the couple's 60th wedding anniversary in 2015, Len said: "It’s hard to say what the secret to such a long marriage is but you have to give and take with each other.
“Back in the 1950s, it was a different world to how it is today. People’s values and appreciation of what they have is taken for granted now. You can only teach by example - all of our children have all been married for over 35 years which is quite something to be proud of today, so hopefully we have set them a good example."
After his family, Len's second love was his beloved Chester and its historical heritage and he had a vast collection of thousands of photographs of old Chester.
His history talks were regularly sold out and Len even had his own projection room in St Michael's History and Heritage Centre where he was well loved by all staff members.
For years Len combined his career as a historian with maintaining the telephone system at Eaton Hall where he got to know the late Duke of Westminster Gerald Grosvenor who later endorsed one of Len's books on Chester.
Speaking in tribute to his father, Len's son Dave said: "His love for the city shone through and had a positive effect on all who came in contact with him.
"Even in his eighties Dad remained forever active and enthusiastic in promoting Chester as a beautiful and historic city; he was the perfect ambassador for the city.
"He was forever telling us: 'I feel like I have won a Lottery ticket in life as I have been very lucky. I have found the best wife, we have a wonderful family and we all live in Chester, a city renowned for its rich historical heritage'."