THE family of a Bradford man who went from miner to mayor have paid tribute to their "most unlikely Bevin Boy".

Frank Robinson died from pneumonia aged 94 on May 25, leaving behind two children, two grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Growing up on Bradford Moor, he lost his father at the age of 12 and was raised by his mum alongside his brother.

"Life was tough," his daughter Fiona Haxby said.

"It was hard when he was young and he realised if you work at things you get where you want."

Wartime college boy Frank left home aged 18 to study teaching in Loughborough but was "devastated" to hear he was one of 48,000 men conscripted to spend the war years down the mines.

These young men were chosen at random from the conscript registration numbers ending in the figure four and Frank spent most of his life campaigning for their efforts to be recognised with a medal. Bevin Boys were officially recognised in 1995.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus in 2008, Frank said: "It was a dark sentence being plunged underground in a cage and having to walk a mile before starting work and coming home covered in dust as black as night."

Frank met his wife, Sheila, at the Jack and Jill Club in Allerton. His future wife would visit him after work when he was covered in soot.

His daughter recalls how Frank would say: "She must have loved me to be seen in that state."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The pair married in 1951 at St Margaret's Church in Thornbury and spent 68 happy years together.

After the war he returned to teaching in many Bradford schools with former students remembering his "firm but fair" style of teaching PE. He was also a strong voice in the Bradford branch of National Union of Teachers.

Fiona said: "He was a fantastic teacher. He was good fun. He wanted to encourage and inspire his students.

"As with everything he did he was always kind and courteous and a good friend.

"He was always there. Such a loving family."

Frank was a Leeds City councillor for 12 years before being inaugurated as Lord Mayor of Leeds in 2005.

Meeting the Prince of Wales was one of the proudest moments he had, his daughter recalled.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Frank, who was a keen gardener in his spare time, was heavily involved with Leeds in Bloom and encouraged his local wards of Pudsey, Farsley and Calverley to create their own flower beds.

He was a much loved member of The Rotary Club of Calverley - a spokesperson for the club said: "Frank will be greatly missed for his work with Yorkshire in Bloom and was particular proud of the achievements of Calverley in Bloom. He was also actively involved in setting up the neighbourhood watch schemes in the community plus in later life he enjoyed the social outings with 'Men Only Group' at the Live at Home in Farsley."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Remembering the lessons he taught her, Fiona said: "The importance of family and just to love and cherish each other. My dad was so lovely. If I can be half as good that would be lovely."