From time to time, in this column, I talk about an individual who has given tireless dedication to our community. Sadly, it is always after they have passed, and it is with no exception that I am writing, again, about an extraordinary individual who has given a lifetime of service to us all.

Charles Talbot sadly passed away over the weekend. For those of us deeply embedded in the civic world of Kidderminster and the wider Wyre Forest, he was a stalwart at every civic function. Indeed, he was a regular, in his eighth decade, at many wider events around the town.

His legacy is immense. It was Charles Talbot, from a legal background at a firm that bears his name, who was instrumental in finding the financing and providing the energy that resulted in Youth House being built some 50 years ago. He saw that we needed a hub where younger generations could get support and inspiration that they may not get from their schools. A number of youth facing charities now base themselves there and it is a hub of support for kids from a variety of backgrounds.

Charles was also behind the creation, recently, of Kidderminster Town Council - something that had been omitted due to peculiar issues at the creation of the Local Government Act (1972). It was his dogged determination that resulted in the local referendum a couple of years ago that created Kidderminster’s council.

These are just a couple of hugely important things this individual achieved for us across a lifetime of public service. The term “gentleman” is one that is thrown around a lot, but Charles was, in every respect, an individual who held dear the high standards that being a true gentleman require. He was always well dressed, always conducted himself with absolute charm and impeccable manners. But beyond that, he maintained an intense sense of fair play, justice and equality. He respected absolutely everyone as an equal.

Charles Talbot was born of a generation that has largely died out, but all around us are the symbols of his legacy. I meet many people working in Youth House who may not look like him, but who hold the same values he has held all his life. It is people like Charles Talbot that are an inspiration to all of us who choose to work in public service.