Published: 06:00, 09 January 2021
| Updated: 09:57, 19 January 2021
Tributes have been paid to former Sheerness town centre manager Alan Ogilvie who has died of cancer at the age of 74.
The accountant was also former assistant general manager of the Olau Line ferry service before he took on promoting Sheppey's main town.
He went on to co-found the Swale Safe system which allows shopkeepers to keep in touch using walkie-talkies to fight crime.
Alan also had a love of cartooning and used his skills to create a woolly sheep character to promote his Shop On Sheppey campaign. He later admitted some of his more off-the-wall ideas to boost the town gave Swale council, his paymaster, a few sleepless nights.
He designed a series of Sheppey-themed Christmas cards and every year sent them to friends and colleagues. His first, in 2000, showed Santa being pulled across a snow-capped Kingsferry Bridge by a flock of flying sheep. Another featured a 'London Underground' map for the Island.
Alan was born on October 2, 1946, in Scotland and was one of four children. When he met his wife Brenda on a blind date 52 years ago he was living near Croydon and studying for his accountancy exams. The couple married in Woldingham, Surrey, and for their honeymoon toured Scotland on a vintage Velocette motorbike.
In 1974, Alan was head-hunted by Olau Line which was launching a ferry service between Sheerness and Vlissingen in Holland and he and Brenda moved to Norwood Rise, Minster.
When the ferry firm folded in 1994 Alan published a book called Inside Olau Line and set up his Buchanan Accountancy Service which looked after the accounts of many Island businesses.
Brenda said: "He put his heart and soul into the Island. He believed in Sheppey and loved being part of the community. He had so many diverse interests. He will be so missed."
During his time on Sheppey he was presented with a gold award for 30 years service to the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat.
He also teamed up with former journalist John Hammond to create Publicity Matters Publishing to publish books about local history.
John recalled: "We met when I was doing publicity for the Medway Ports Authority. He was an extremely clever man and always spoke his mind. He had boundless energy and always seemed frustrated by how slowly the wheels of local government worked. I had nothing but admiration for him."
The Ogilvies later moved to Bromley to live with their daughter Gaynor and her family.
Alan died on December 9. His funeral was last Wednesday . He had requested no flowers but asked for any donations to be sent to the Freedom Centre, an educational day centre in St George's Avenue, Sheerness, where he was a trustee.
He leaves a widow Brenda, son Alex, daughter Gaynor and two granddaughters both aged 12.