WITH the death of Sydney Heppell, in Connaught Court, Fulford, on March 3, at the age of 92, the city of York has lost one of its most respected and knowledgeable local history experts.

A native of the city he loved, Syd was born in the Skeldergate area, the youngest of five children.

After leaving school at Cherry Tree of Bishopthorpe Road and Knavesmire School, he eventually for local chemical firms, firstly Sturges, then Bleasdales and finally the Veterinary Drug Company.

He retired in the capacity of administration manager in 1986.

His time with Sturges was interrupted by war service. Syd served with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps where, in his own words, “we cleaned up after the Eighth Army”.

Then came marriage to Marion. The couple had two daughters Pat and Brenda. He later married Joyce.

Syd’s local knowledge and organisational skills came to the fore when he started to demonstrate his love of the city by becoming deeply involved in all things York.

He became a founder member of the Association of Voluntary Guides in 1951, founder and chairman of local history group The Roundabout Group for some 30 years, and a most conscientious keeper of the Dr Evelyn collection of photographic slides.

Syd was also a council member of the Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society and a member of the York Civic Trust.

Syd was much in demand as a speaker on local history. He is survived by his second wife Joyce, his two daughters, three grandsons, two great-grand-daughters and one great-grandson.

The funeral will take place at Connaught Court, in Fulford, on Friday, March 21 at 2.15pm.