A RESPECTED York estate agent who set up his business in the city more than half a century ago has died at the age of 79.

Arthur Morton, one half of Robinson & Morton Estate Agents, died in York Hospital six days before his 80th birthday.

Mr Morton, who was from the Fulford Road area of the city, was born and went to school in Huddersfield but moved to York to pursue a career as a chartered surveyor.

Lifelong friend Edward Sheard, also 79, paid tribute to Mr Morton.

He said: “We were at primary school together in Huddersfield and have been friends ever since.

“He was taught at a Halifax firm of auctioneers and estate agents and went on to become a chartered surveyor.

“He moved to York to take up a job with a company called Bernard Thorpe, then, after he had done his national service, he formed a partnership and opened Robinson & Morton Estate Agents. The first shop was in Coney Street and I believe it opened some time in the late 1950s.”

Mr Sheard said his friend stayed with the business through to his retirement 25 years ago.

During his career, Mr Morton became an active member of the York & District Association of Auctioneers, Valuers and Estate Agents, eventually becoming president in 1977. He used the position to become a champion of the self-employed and small business owners.

Mr Sheard said when his friend was not busy with his career, he enjoyed boating on the River Ouse, and spent a lot of time working on and improving properties belonging to his family in West Yorkshire. He was not married and had no children.

His funeral will take place at 11.40am on Wednesday, February 13. His family have asked for any donations to be made to the Stroke Unit at York Hospital.