TRIBUTES were paid to historian and author Sidney Hills a blue plaque commemorating his life was unveiled.

Mr Hills, who came from an old Epping family, had a regular column in the Essex Countryside magazine and in the West Essex Gazette noting and recording the history and life of Epping.

He also wrote many articles on such subjects as the origins and life in the Epping workhouse, kept picture records of Epping and wrote a book entitled: 'Epping: the Bygone days'.

Meanwhile, he also wrote several books which have become "local treasures" now stored in the Essex Records Office.

Sidney was born in St John’s Road in 1896, later moving to 45 High Street, where the plaque was unveiled.

He went to school at the Epping and Theydon School (the then Elementary School).

After fighting in the First World War he had many jobs, starting as a stone mason and later becoming a reporter for the Epping Gazette.

Eventually working for another old Epping family, at the Cottis foundry for more than 40 years.

His father had also worked for the Cottis family at the Cottis garage whilst also being the first secretary and treasurer for the original Epping Town Football Club in the late 1890s, a club Sidney continued to support.

Town Mayor councillor Tony Church remembers meeting both Sidney and Doris who were greatfriends of his grandfather, Jim Church.

Cllr Church said: "I always remember them fondly, particularly the historical stories of Epping he used to tell."

He described Mr Hills as "one of Epping’s great historians and writers".

Resident Wendy Jonas nominated Mr Hills for the blue plaque which was unveiled at a short ceremony attended by members of his family and town councillors, Freemen of the Town and others interested in the town's history.

Also present was Sarah Joy, from Essex Record Office, who played a recording of Mr Hills recalling bygone days in Epping, including the time when a car was seen driving through the High Street for the first time.