Arthur Tinkler founded Tinkler’s Electrical Engineers, which provided public address equipment for events across the north, including for many years the Great North Run.

He was born in 1928 at Middleton-in-Teesdale and was the son of William and Tamar Tinkler. His eldest brother John died as a prisoner of war in 1945 from food poisoning, days before the war ended. Arthur was the last member of his family to see John as he set him off at the station when he left for war.

Arthur and his wife Ruth made the journey to Germany to visit John’s grave about 15 years ago, which was a very emotional time for Arthur.

After completing his National Service, Arthur trained as a mechanical and electrical engineer - skills which he utilised throughout his working life.

Arthur married his beloved Ruth in August 1954 and they had just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

Although they grew up only four miles apart they did not meet until 1947 when a butcher friend of Arthur visited Ruth on his round and set up a blind date for them.

Arthur amazed everyone by being able to recall the exact time they met and how their first date was spent visiting the Cosy Cinema where they had the best seats in the house on the back row at a cost of 2 shillings and 3 pence.

They saw each other again the following week. The week after that Arthur set off to visit Ruth by cycling the four miles to Eggleston. The great storm of 1947 set in that night and he was stopped in his tracks at Whistler Crag where a drift had formed which was almost as high as the telephone wires.

This did not stop Arthur, who scaled the crag and continued his journey to see Ruth.

They spent their early married life at Middleton-in-Teesdale before moving to Kirkby Stephen in 1959 where they lived ever since.

Arthur carried on his profession as an electrician, providing public address equipment for many local shows and various running events, including at Balmoral and London. Ruth accompanied him to the events and helped him. Arthur passed on his skills to his son Stephen who continues to provide public address. Arthur is survived by Ruth, and children Kathleen, Stephen and Andrew - the former Stobart Group chief executive - seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren, who loved him dearly.

When Kathleen asked Arthur last week what the best thing he had done in his life was, his response was “marrying Ruth.”

Arthur’s funeral will be at midday tomorrow at Kirkby Stephen’s Upper Eden Baptist Chapel, with the service being relayed to the Methodist Chapel.