Brian Ashley, the man behind Marlborough Summer School and the Jazz Festival has died, aged 84, after a fall.

Mr Ashley, from Stone Bridge Lane in Marlborough, also ran the Avebury Henge Shop with his wife Cathy for many years.

He was the director of PE at Marlborough College, and also taught history between 1966 and 1982.

He inspired the thought and carried through the operation of creating two beautiful lakes within the college grounds.

The Summer School, which has played host to tens of thousands of eager students was his brainchild, 46 years ago.

When the notion of it was first discussed there was some difference of opinion. There were those who viewed with alarm the prospect of College property being used by outsiders and those who felt strongly that such impressive facilities ought not to remain idle for all the weeks of the school holidays.

In 1974 Brian Ashley, as Head of PE at the College, was given permission to have a trial run.

This convinced the authorities that a Summer School should start in earnest in 1975 when 210 people attended 20 courses over a period of two weeks.

From that point forward, the period of Summer School was extended to three weeks and the introduction of Children's Activities became a special feature, making the enterprise truly a matter of learning at leisure for all the family.

Summer school now occupies four weeks of the summer holidays and offers a diverse a range of courses. From 'Code Breaking' and ‘Astronomy' in Science, through 'Nordic Walking',‘Metal Detecting',‘Classic Japanese Cooking for Improvers', 'Philosophy for Beginners', Victorian Vices' and 'Stickmaking".

He initiated an ‘Old Men’s lunch Club’ several years ago giving so much joy to older men in the community that their diary never missed monthly.

He also wrote a book called Law and Order and even got to meet President Obama and his wife Michele.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years Kathe and his four children Mark, Joe, Helen and Cathy and nine grandchildren.

Details of the funeral are yet to be released.