TRIBUTES have been paid to a “strong” and “remarkable” former councillor with a “wicked sense of humour” who never lost an election.

Marian Lyons, the first leader of Clwyd County Council when it was formed in 1972, died at home aged 94 on January 11.

Mrs Lyons – who founded the Abergele Branch of the University of the 3rd Age (U3A) - had children Martyn, Gordon, Robin, Stephen and Sally plus nine grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

She was born and brought up in Elland, a small wool town in Yorkshire. She moved to Llanddulas, near Abergele, in 1954 and lived in Clip Terfyn with her husband Edward.

A nurse, she moved to Llanddulas when her husband took up the post of consultant opthalmologist at the HM Stanley Hospital in St Asaph.

The couple met when Marian was working as a nurse in the Eye Department at Leeds Infirmary. They married in London in 1946 when they were in their mid-20s.

Mrs Lyons served as a councillor for Llanddulas on the Abergele Urban District Council from 1963 and became the chair of that council two years later.

From 1964, she also served as Denbighshire County Councillor for the Abergele district and 10 years later, when Denbighshire and Flintshire merged to become Clwyd, she was elected as the new county’s first leader. She became the first woman to serve as a council leader in the UK.

Stephen Lyons, her son, said: “Her passion as a councillor was firmly based around her desire to improve conditions and remove inequalities. It was a very genuine and sincere calling.

”She was a very strong and forthright woman. She had an innate sense of justice. She was frequently the only woman serving on historically male committees and had the confidence to achieve in that environment.”

With five children and a political career, Mrs Lyons did not have a “great deal of time” for hobbies, but enjoyed hiking and bird watching.

Stephen added: “In retirement, my mother was an ardent knitter and took up embroidery. In her post council days she supporting various causes, especially in Llanddulas and Abergele.”

Mrs Lyons served as the only woman on the Welsh Council in the late 1970s and represented Clwyd County Council on the Court of the University of Wales.

She sat on the joint committee of the Translation of the Bible into Welsh and was a Governor of the Welsh College of Music and Drama.

She also attended the Investiture of Prince Charles at Caernarfon Castle and was a recipient of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee medal.

Marian Lyons’s funeral will take place at Colwyn Bay Crematorium in Mochdre on Thursday at 11am.