The daughter of a Meppershall man - who loved cars, laughter and "tinkering with anything in need of fixing" - has paid tribute to him after his death aged 70.

Colin Brooks was born in Hitchin on New Year's Eve 1951 to Doris and Gordon Brooks, and grew up in Shefford.

He attended Shefford Lower School, then went on to Stratton Grammar School after passing his 11+ - which was said to be "more by luck than judgement!".

After leaving school and obtaining a city and guilds qualification in telecoms, Colin went to work for Post Office Telephones - which eventually became BT. He spent 28 years with BT before switching to computers and working for Fujitsu, where he remained until he took early retirement.

Colin moved to Meppershall in 1978 and married Veronica the following year. They went on to have children Wayne, in 1981, and Cally five years later. Unfortunately the marriage broke down, and Colin went on to bring up Cally single-handed. Cally and her dad were described by many as "peas in a pod".

The Comet: Cally Brooks with her dad Colin.Cally Brooks with her dad Colin. (Image: Cally Brooks)

Colin always loved to engineer and build things, which was one of the hobbies he shared with his father. They would often create weird and wonderful contraptions, including a go kart for Colin's budgie!

In the early '70s, he took up rallying in, racing a Ford Anglia with friend Merv as co-driver, then progressing to a Ford Escort - but the rallying dream ended after a clash with a gatepost!

The Comet: Colin and friend Merv loved cars.Colin and friend Merv loved cars. (Image: Cally Brooks)

Cally, 35, said: "Dad then took up off-road buggy racing in the early 2000s, making a whole new set of friends and spending most weekends knee deep in mud! He was at his happiest tinkering with anything that needed fixing and I swear he never left the house without a can of WD40!"

In 2018, Colin found happiness with Sue. She described their time as “food, footsteps and fun”. They enjoyed holidays together including a trip to Ibiza.

The Comet: Colin found happiness with partner SueColin found happiness with partner Sue (Image: Cally Brooks)

Cally said: "Dad you were always one to shy away from the limelight but everyone that knew you loved you, your warm smile, your one liners and endless knowledge.

"I don’t think you ever realised how important you are to so many people. Everything I am is because of you. You brought light and laughter to so many people. Keep shining bright up there."