A model aircraft flying club has paid tribute to its “inspiring” leader who died recently.

Wharfedale Aeromodellers observed a two-minute silence at the start of its January meeting in memory of honorary president John Horton.

Mr Horton, 75, a Burley-in-Wharfedale resident, died over the Christmas period.

He was a founder member of the club in 1956 and served as its enthusiastic chairman for half a century before becoming honorary president.

A man of many talents, ranging from historic machinery to ornithology, he also served on Burley Community Council.

A spokesperson for Wharfedale Aeromodellers said: “As a practical aeromodeller, John was best known worldwide for his activity in team racing – which became a club specialism – and won a number of national awards in this field. However, he had a wide understanding of the hobby and encouraged all aspects.”

Another of Mr Horton’s services to the club was maintaining its archive.

In 2006 he was the principal organiser of a reunion held to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary. This was very well supported by present and former members, some living far away, and lots of happy memories were recalled. Many letters of thanks were received in subsequent weeks.

The club said Mr Horton was an inspiring leader and a very good man, who would be sorely missed.