Tributes have been paid to an award-winning motoring correspondent, mechanic and teacher who has died at the age of 94.

Roy Brooks was well known as a regular contributor on motoring matters to the Bury and Radcliffe Times, among other publications, over many years.

His “outstanding contribution to automobile engineering” saw Mr Brooks awarded a higher doctorate by the University of Bolton in 2014, the highest academic distinction available from any UK university.

Vice Chancellor Professor George Holmes said: “The whole university community is saddened to hear of Roy’s passing.

“He was a great friend and supporter of the University of Bolton and the loveliest of men.

“He will be sadly missed, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to Roy’s family and friends.”

The Bolton News: Mr Brooks was awarded a Higher Doctorate by the University of BoltonMr Brooks was awarded a Higher Doctorate by the University of Bolton (Image: University of Bolton)

Born in 1929, Mr Brooks served in the army as a young man with most of his service spent in the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers.

He used this education in motor vehicle maintenance to eventually become an instructor at the REME Workshops in Burscough, Lancashire.

After leaving the army, Mr Books worked as a mechanic in a Rootes Group dealership and during that time he continued his studies in evening classes at Bolton Technical College.

He was asked to teach evening classes at Rochdale Technical College, which led to him applying for a junior teaching post at Bolton Technical College.

The Bolton News: Mr Brooks was a well known figure thanks to his newspaper columns and work with the University of BoltonMr Brooks was a well known figure thanks to his newspaper columns and work with the University of Bolton (Image: University of Bolton)

Mr Brooks became a teacher, and then head of automobile engineering at what was then Bolton Technical College and has since become the University of Bolton, where he instigated the first Rolls-Royce Owners Drivers course of its type in the world.

He also worked at Bolton Technical Teachers’ Training College from 1967 to 1985, specialising in short courses for motor vehicle teachers.

An innovative and successful academic career included renowned publications such as the Vehicle Craft Series, the "Brooks Books" from 1971.

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To the wider public, Mr Brooks became well known thanks to regular columns in up to 32 weekly newspapers across more than 50 years.

He won the Pirelli Award for Best Weekly Motoring Column on three occasions and also edited and wrote a number of motoring books, including a series aimed specifically at motor vehicle technicians which remained in print, with revisions, for decades.

Mr Brooks’ career also took in being a founder trustee of the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation, head of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club Historical Research Team and chair of the same organisation’s publication committee.

His work with the club saw him become its international chairman from 1988 to 1991 and he was awarded life membership in 2014.