Tributes have been paid to a well-known fisherman who has died aged 86.

John Robert Henson, known as Jack, lived on Braystones beach for 50 years.

He had been responsible for getting electricity and mains water on the beach and helped maintain the beach road to the train station.

His son Lester said: “He fished all his life on the river and at sea.That was his life.

“He was famous for capturing people and talking to them on the beach. Everyone knew him for that. You couldn’t get a word in edgeways. He was famous for his stories – he always had time to speak to people as they went past.

“His catchphrase was ‘happy days’. He will be missed down there.”

Mr Henson appeared on Paul Merton’s Secret Stations, a TV programme which explored some of the country’s railway request stations and the people who use them. He was also interviewed by Fiona Armstrong about life on the beach.

Mr Henson, who died on May 10, grew up in Egremont and attended Bookwell Primary School. He was the son of Albert Henson – a champion gurner at Egremont Crab Fair.

As a young man he worked as a farmhand before doing his National Service for three years. He then moved to Manchester and sold coal for a living and later worked for the Milk Marketing Board.

Mr Henson moved back to the area and worked as a heavy goods driver at the Rowntrees factory in Egremont for 20 years. He then worked at Sellafield until he retired.

He leaves behind four children – Steven, Mandy Lester, and Nina – and eight grandchildren.