The flag flew at half mast in Appleby for former town councillor, musical maestro and medical marvel Ian Potts, who has died aged 79.
Mr Potts served as a town councillor and was mayor-elect when a sudden illness in December 2008 prevented him being installed as mayor.
Born in Worthing in September, 1941, his parents were Theodore Herald Potts and Margaret Joyce Oakshott Potts. After the Second World War, his parents decided to emigrate to Australia as £10 Poms, settling in Tasmania.
Ian studied at Friend’ School in Hobart, Tasmania, on a full scholarship before the family left Tasmania towards the end of his secondary education.
He later joined the boys’ troop of the Royal Artillery Band, playing clarinet and cello. He marched in The Lord Mayor’s Show parade in London, played for garden parties at Buckingham Palace and many Edinburgh Tattoos.
He went on to train as a music teacher at Exeter University where he completed the three year course in one year, with a first class honours degree, and grade eight in seven different instruments. He was an associate of the Royal Schools of Music and taught for and examined for them most of his life.
He taught music in several secondary schools and taught and played solo clarinet professionally.
Ian took over the Lincolnshire Concert Band which travelled to Europe playing concerts. After teaching for the forces in Germany, he returned to England, playing professionally, and returned to music education.
He was said to have “leaped at a job in Cumbria — which he loved”, managing the schools’ music service until it closed.
He accepted an invitation to form Cumbria Cobwebs, which included musicians from all levels, recruiting players, arranging music and conducting.
Ian and his wife Cricket Kemp married and moved to Appleby in 1997 where Ian became the Appleby concert organiser for North Westmorland Arts while he continued to teach clarinet privately and played as a solo clarinettist.
Outside music he was a keen hill walker, a keen collector of classic cars and spent much of his life working for the communities he lived in, supporting others.
In early January 2009, to save his life when he was dying of heart failure, Ian received the first left ventricular assist device ever, installed at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
The average time patients live with this device is 18 months but Ian lived with his for 13 years — longer than anyone else in the world, which astounded medics.
After several months of poor health, Ian died on May 18.
Ian had six children — Stefan, Marion, Kristian, Emma, Adam and the late Martin, and 10 grandchildren.