AN active member of his community has died after contracting coronavirus.

Tom Herd passed away at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary last Friday, shortly after having been admitted.

Mr Herd, from Casterton, had reportedly fallen ill around two weeks beforehand.

Neighbours, who are now in self-isolation, then encouraged him to seek more serious medical help.

He passed away several days after testing positive for COVID-19.

A former till worker at Booths in Kirkby Lonsdale, Mr Herd and was "well known and well liked in the community" according to Kirkby Lonsdale parish councillor Allan Muirhead. He was an active volunteer, working with the Kirkby Lonsdale Rainbow Parish for a number of years.

A keen organist, he played regularly to a number of congregations within the Rainbow Parish, as well as at Holy Trinity Church in Howgill, Preston Parish and a number of other churches in the Lune Valley. He also held some responsibility for the finances of several Rainbow Parish churches.

Along with his volunteer work for the parish churches, Mr Herd lent a helping hand to the visitor information centre in Kirkby Lonsdale since it opened years ago.

Mr Herd also used to chip in as a village reporter for The Gazette, providing weekly Casterton community news updates for a number of years.

Rev Richard Snow said of Mr Herd: “When I first came here (around 13 years ago) he was working at Booths in Kirkby Lonsdale – a very cheerful, chatty and sociable person. He was someone who was always concerned for the financial wellbeing of the churches and always willing to help wherever he could. He retired from that a few years ago but was still very involved in community life – for example, he was a much loved and respected friend and volunteer at the information and gift shop in Kirkby.”

Rev Snow also remembers Mr Herd for his hearty appetite: “I have a suspicion that heaven, for Tom, would have to include a fish and chip supper. He will be sadly missed."