THE first woman chairman of Melksham Urban District Council died on October 27, aged 90, at The Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley, Kent.

Mary Salisbury was elected to the former Urban District Council in 1954 and later elected to Wiltshire County Council, where she also became the first woman chairman, holding office from 1989 to 1992.

She had also become Justice of the Peace in 1960 and was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire in 1982 as well as being awarded the CBE for services to local government.

Born in 1917 in a mining village in County Durham, she was one of six children, and won a scholarship to Bishop Auckland County School for girls in 1928.

She later went on to train as a nurse. In 1943, while nursing during the Second World War at Battle Hospital in Reading, she met and married her husband Bob.

They moved to Melksham in 1947, and joined the local Labour party shortly afterwards.

Mrs Salisbury will be sadly missed by her daughter, son-in-law, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Her funeral will take place today at St John the Evangelist’s Church, Park Road, Bromley, Kent at 2pm.

Donations in her memory can be made to Age Concern and may be sent to Messrs Constable and Toop, 589 Downham Way, Bromley, Kent.