City Hall’s flag is flying at half-mast for former Lord Mayor’s consort Donald Binney who died suddenly at home on New Year’s Day.

The 81-year-old, whose widow is Thornton and Allerton Councillor Val Binney had recently been in hospital with a chest infection but his death was unexpected.

The bells at City Hall will toll tomorrow, when family and friends gather for a thanksgiving service for his life at Allerton Methodist Church at 10.45am.

Mr Binney was Coun Binney’s consort in 2005/6 when she was Lord Mayor.

Coun Binney, who has diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, a rare muscle-wasting condition, hopes to keep up her role until the Council elections in May.

Mr Binney worked for Woolcombers in 1947 as a textile mechanic and retired in 1997 as foreman of the mechanics shop. Donations in his memory will go towards Allerton Methodist Church.

Coun Binney said: “Donald was a devoted husband who has been caring for me since I was diagnosed with MND. He was a loving father and grandfather. He excelled as consort to me.”