Supporters of The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, are mourning the passing of Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt, a leading light in its revival.
Admiral Hunt, father of Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, died at his home in Shere, Surrey, on Friday.
Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt at the Dockyard in 2004
The former chairman of the Historic Dockyard Trust joined the organisation in 1997, following the death of Sir William Staveley.
His arrival coincided with a £17 million capital development programme and Admiral Hunt led the organisation through a huge period of development, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Medway Council, English Heritage and the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, before his retirement in 2005.
Bill Ferris, chief executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, said: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt GCB LVO DL last Friday.
"Sir Nicholas was a much loved and highly effective chairman who led Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust through a period of major renewal and development, which saw many of the dockyard’s historic buildings repaired and brought back into use, HMS Gannet (1878) restored and the future of HMS Cavalier secured as the National Destroyer Memorial at Chatham.”
“Sir Nicholas was instrumental in ensuring that The Historic Dockyard is now recognised as a thriving community in its own right as well as a successful tourist destination, leading museum and education resource.
"Following his retirement he retained a keen interest in the work of the Trust and the development of the Dockyard.
“He will be much missed and we offer our deepest sympathy to Lady Hunt and his family.”
Admiral Hunt remained a key supporter of the Dockyard and would often visit for special occasions, most recently at the opening of the Hearts of Oak exhibition earlier this year.
He died at the age of 82 following a short illness and leaves wife Lady Meriel Hunt, four children and eight grandchildren.
A thanksgiving service at Guildford Cathedral will follow his funeral in Shere on November 7.