The widow of a well known guidebook author has paid tribute to a “lovely and generous person” following his death at the age of 76.

Robert Acton, known as Bob, taught at Falmouth Grammar School and later at Falmouth School before retiring at 50 to write history and walking books exploring different areas of Cornwall. He also published books by other authors through the company Landfall books.

The Devoran based author had a noted interest in the history of Cornish mining and one of his books was used by TV presenter Julia Bradbury for her BBC programme Railway Walks.

His wife Stephanie said: “He was an understanding and generous man who will be sorely missed.

“I enjoyed going on his walks with him, when he doing the books and we used to enjoy picnics in different places.

“He was just a special really lovely person, and very generous, especially to my son and we all got on extremely well.”

Bob, born in Brighton in 1937,holidayed in Cornwall before moving to the county and taking up a position as a teacher at Falmouth Grammar School, where he later became head of English.

He was married three times, for the final time in 2000, and will be sadly missed by his wife Stephanie, daughter Kate, son-in-law Dave, and grandchildren Emily and James, his son Michael, Michael’s partner Anna, and his stepson Courtney, daughter-in-law Tracey and their children William and Gabriel.

Stephanie added: “He will also be missed by the many societies and choirs of which he was a member.

“He was a special person, not just to me and the family but to many in Cornwall.”

Bob suffered two heart attacks last year, and following a short illness in February he passed away peacefully in the company of Stephanie, Michael and Anna.

A memorial service is due to be held in Penpol Church on Tuesday, March 11 at 2pm to celebrate his life, and everyone is welcome.