Whether it was as a councillor for 17 years, the owner of a golf course, the chairman of a football club or a young apprentice starting out at Sun Printers, Tony Barton will be remembered by a host of people in Watford and the surrounding areas.

The retired company director also built up a photographic business, competed in numerous fun runs and half-marathons, became a keen cyclist and was attending a gym until well into his eighties.

Anthony John Barton, who lived in Rickmansworth, was born on November 23, 1932 in Watford. He lived in the town and its environs for all his life, attending Alexander Infants, Callowland Boys and Leggatts Way school for boys. He left school at 15 to start work at Sun Printers, where he was signed as an apprentice on his 16th birthday.

He remained with the company until 1974, except for a break between 1951 and 1953 for his National Service, which prepared him for a life in business.

Tony started a photographic company DUPE1V with his business partner, Mike Frazier, in 1974. The company’s name was later changed to Bushey Colour Laboratories and it developed into one of the largest businesses of its kind in Europe.

In 1982, Tony and Mike bought what was to become Bushey Golf and Country Club, handily located over the road from their colour laboratories. They improved the club by adding a golf range, upgrading the course and the Herkomer Banqueting suite.

The club grew to such an extent the colour laboratories were sold in 1989, allowing a total focus on the golf business.

Tony sold it at the age of 63 but he wasn’t ready to fully retire and instead turned to politics, becoming a Three Rivers district councillor for Sarratt.

He proudly held this role for 17 years and was given the title of Freeman of the Parish of Sarratt in recognition of his service.

“It was a nice farewell and they (the parish council) have never done it before,” Tony said of the honour in 2014.

“We do what we do as councillors. We try and give something back and a recognition of thanks feels like a million pounds.”

A season ticket holder at Watford FC, Tony loved sport.

He was chairman of Sun Sports FC for many years and in 1966 introduced a third team for over-30s which he was captain. He continued to play football until he broke his knee. This led to another of his passions, running.

Tony always said that he came up with his best ideas whilst running. He took part in numerous fun runs and half marathons, completing his first New York Marathon in 1979, another ten years later, and the London Marathon in 1993.

He continued to run until his knees had to be replaced and then took up cycling, which he enjoyed until 2016.

Notwithstanding the fact that he was 84, he attended the Nuffield Gym at the Royal Masonic School in Rickmansworth, where his widow Carol believes he was their oldest member, only giving up because of the pandemic.

Tony Barton died on March 2 at the age of 89. He was married three times, and had three children.

Joy (deceased) and Tony had a daughter, Janine. Subsequently, Rosalind (deceased) gave Tony a step daughter, Lara. He and Carol had a son, Antony. Tony also leaves a younger brother, David.