THE family of a motorcyclist involved in a fatal road traffic collision on Thursday night (08/10) on the A36 near Salisbury has paid tribute to him.

Stephen Cooke, 66, died after a collision shortly before 9pm between Wilton and South Newton which only involved his motorbike.

His daughter Alice Cooke said: "There aren’t enough words in the world to describe this incredible man who was not only a dad but a good friend to us all because we are such a close-knit family.

"Dad was such an amazingly talented man – a force of nature really. He had a love for the daring and dangerous at times and all through his life he enjoyed adventure.

"He also had an energetic free spirit which was eccentric, in as much as he would try anything and create so much happiness in his unique, creative way.

"He loved riding motorbikes which he had done throughout his life.

"He was so musically talented too – being able to sing, lead choirs and play the church organ; most recently he was playing regularly for St Mary’s, Bathwick.

"He was also extremely skilful with his hands – making musical instruments; both designing and building them.

"The family business, working with his son and my brother, of church organ restoration allowed him to showcase this talent.

"He will be deeply missed by everybody for all the above, but his spirit and love of life will remain in our lasting memories of him."

Mr Cooke, of Fairwood Road, Dilton Marsh, Westbury, was travelling west towards Warminster through the village of South Newton, when the accident occurred.

Police said he appears to have lost control of his Honda motorbike and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The road was closed for around eight hours to allow emergency services to deal with the collision.

Wiltshire Police say their thoughts are with the man's family and friends at this difficult time.

Mr Cooke ran Cooke Organs, a well-established and highly-regarded organ building firm in the Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire area. He and his staff are all organists and have freelance careers as players.

From their premises on the outskirts of Westbury, they restore and overhaul organs in many parish churches.

They specialise in mechanical organs but also service and restore large pneumatic, electro-pneumatic and unit organs, and various types of soundboard.

Ian Singleton, the area coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon in Salisbury, opened an inquest into Mr Cooke's death on Wednesday (October 14).

The inquest was told that Mr Cooke's motorcycle was the only vehicle involved and that he died from multiple injuries at around 8.55pm.

Mr Singleton adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed.

Anyone who saw the collision or has any information is asked to contact 101 quoting log number 320 of October 8.