Huge shock and sadness has greeted the news of the death of a very well respected Helston vet and long-standing member of the St Martin community.

Johnny Alston, a veterinary surgeon at Head and Head and Head Veterinary Practice for more than 30 years, died unexpectedly last Wednesday, November 29 at Derriford Hospital, at the age of just 66.

He was a larger-than-life character and was known by many in Helston and the surrounding area, with his death hitting the local community hard.

Johnny grew up on a dairy farm in Wiltshire with his parents and sister Sue. From a young age, he had a great passion for the care of animals.

He attended Liverpool University, developing a love for rugby while he was there that lasted a lifetime.

Falmouth Packet: Johnny in his younger veterinary yearsJohnny in his younger veterinary years (Image: Family picture)

In 1992, Johnny, wife Frances and their eldest daughter Bethany moved to Cornwall, where they went on to have two further children, Pippa and Ed.

Johnny started work at Head and Head in Helston. He always enjoyed the variety of work that mixed practice veterinary brought, but was most happy when out working on the farms.

As a member of St Martin Parish Council for many years, he was a valued member of the community.

He also enjoyed hosting the annual St Martin Horticultural and Craft Show in one of his agricultural buildings over many years.

Johnny leaves behind his beloved wife Frances, children Bethany, Pippa and Ed, son-in-law David, grandson Henry and sister Sue.

Falmouth Packet: Johnny with his wife Frances and their three childrenJohnny with his wife Frances and their three children (Image: Family picture)

He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, local farmers and all those at Head and Head.

A funeral service for Johnny will take place at the Central Methodist Church in Helston on Tuesday, December 19, at 11am. This will be followed by private interment.

Anyone attending is asked to car share, where possible, and encouraged to park in the free Fairground Car Park next to Flora Motors, opposite Coronation Lake.

There will be family flowers only, but donations can be made in aid of the Pencarrow Ward at Derriford Hospital during a retiring collection at the service, or online via a link on the website of Pendle Funeral Services, Helston.