TRIBUTES have been paid to former shopkeeper and well-known local character Brian Huckle, who died after his car hit a tree.
Mr Huckle, 79, was driving a silver Peugeot 207 from Hatton Park Road in Wellingborough to Broad Green when the crash happened in Hatton Street at about 10.45am on Thursday.
Police said for “unknown reasons” Mr Huckle’s car veered over the carriageway, mounted the offside kerb and collided with a tree.
The emergency services were called and he was taken to Kettering General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Mr Huckle, who lived in Hatton Avenue, Wellingborough, ran a tobacconist shop in High Street in the town, which was run before him by his father Vic Huckle, and also ran a barber shop in Sheep Street, Wellingborough.
Alan Wortley, chairman of Hatton Park Residents’ Association, said he had fond memories of Mr Huckle and he would be sadly missed.
He said: “He was a very well-known and much-loved character. He would have been 80 in August. He was one of Wellingborough’s characters. It’s very, very sad indeed.
“He wasn’t a member of the residents’ association committee but he turned up at AGMs and made cryptic comments from the body of the audience.
“We used to describe his asides and comments as ‘Huckle’s Chuckles’.
“We have a number of social functions like quiz nights and pig roasts and he was always there, vibrant and lively.”
Mr Wortley said the residents’ association had held an event about a year ago celebrating old Wellingborough and Mr Huckle was one of three speakers.
Mr Wortley said: “We had about three people who gave little talks about what life was like 30 years ago. Brian Huckle gave a really engaging talk.
“He will be greatly missed.”
Robert Wharton from Wellingborough Museum said: “His businesses were such a feature of the town, everyone had their hair cut in Huckle’s.”
Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the accident or anyone who saw Mr Huckle’s car moving prior to the incident to come forward.