TRIBUTES have been paid to a well known community figure who passed away at the age of 91.

Ian Birss was involved in the Rotary, Largs Bowling Club and was an elder at the Clark Memorial Church, as well as treasurer of the North Ayrshire Conservatives.

Ian, a St Andrew's University graduate, was a nuclear physicist and worked for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, starting his career in Dounreay.

He married wife Davina in 1964 and they had two children Colin, who is now a judge of the Court of Appeal in England and Wales, and Stephen, who recently retired from a career in IT project management at Bradford & Bingley and Yorkshire Building Society.

The young family moved to Largs in the early 1970s, living in Douglas Street.

They stayed until 1982 and went back to West Cumbria for a few years and then to Lancashire when Ian became head of Risley Nuclear Laboratories, before returning to Largs in 1990.

Ian was a founding members of Largs Rotary Club and was always proud of the medals he received from the parent body for the local branch's fundraising.

He had a remarkable career, and in the 1950s built the first bubble chamber in Europe, technology later used at CERN in Switzerland to image subatomic particles.

He also worked on the development of Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors (AGRs) at Windscale, moving to Hunterston in the early 1970s when the B station had two AGRs.

In retirement, Ian continued to serve on a number of national Nuclear Safety Committees.

Ian passed away peacefully in his sleep earlier this month.

Ron Muir, who was also a President of the Largs Rotary, said: "Ian was devoted to the Rotary and raising funds for charity and local causes. We worked together at Hunterston in the 1970s and I remember him though his involvement in the Scouts too. He will be much missed."

Tom Marshall, chairman of the North Ayrshire Conservatives, said: "Ian did a first class job as treasurer. My sympathies go out to his family at this sad time."

A spokesperson for Largs Bowling Club said: "Largs Bowling Club is very sad to hear of the death of Ian Birss. Ian was a long time member and also a past president. Ian’s wife, Davina, was also very active in the club.

"There involvement in the club came to an end in 2019 and we marked this occasion by holding a leaving party for them. This indicates how well thought of they were."

Ian is survived by Davina, sons Colin and Stephen and six grandchildren.