FORMER Bicester Town Mayor, RAF enthusiast and Air Training Corps trainer Jim French has died aged 76.

Born in Wolvercote, in Oxford, in 1942, Mr French went to the village primary school and then on to Cheney School in Headington.

When he left education, he went to work for data analysis company Nielson Market Research, and it was there in 1969 he also met his future wife Angie Scarratt.

Working in adjacent offices, romance blossomed, and the pair married a year later in 1970.

Mr French went on to work at Neilson for more than 30 years, even taking on a consultancy role after he retired.

In fact, Mr French refused to fully retire and when the consultancy role ended, he worked for data security firm Thales in Long Crendon, and later the Collectors’ shop, in Crown Walk, Bicester, and Oxford Covered Market.

He also had a lifelong interest in the Royal Air Force and had tried to join the service as a pilot.

Unfortunately, he was not accepted and instead threw himself into training cadets.

He was heavily involved with the ATC at Chipping Norton, where Mr French delivered training while his wife ran the tuck shop.

In his own time, such was his passion about aircraft, he spent many hours building and flying model aircraft.

The couple’s move to Bicester in 2000 saw Mr French take further his other interest, politics.

He had previously been a member of East Oxford Conservative Association, working behind the scenes canvassing and supporting events.

However, his move to Bicester led him to join the North Oxfordshire Conservatives and he stood in the Bicester Town Council elections in 2007 securing a seat for the Bicester Town Ward.

He served on a string of committees as both member and chairman; and was elected by his peers as Bicester’s mayor in 2015/16.

He was forced to step down in February 2016 due to ill health and sadly passed away from a lung condition Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which causes increased breathlessness.

Mr French died on November 17 this year.

His funeral will take place at Oxford Crematorium, on Friday, December 7, at midday, with a celebration of his life held afterwards in the council chamber at the Garth, in Bicester.

It is family flowers only with donations to British Lung Foundation to be made through L Hartness Funeral Directors, Victoria Road, Bicester.

Mr French is survived by his wife Angie.