TRIBUTES have been paid to former Wee County head teacher James Rankine, who passed away recently.

The 90-year-old was born in Tillicoultry and worked at both Banchory and Clackmannan primary schools.

He then joined Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education before retiring in the mid-80s.

In his twilight years, the "loving" family man enjoyed golfing, fishing and hillwalking, though always had spare time for his grandchildren.

His son Kenneth told the Advertiser: "He was very family orientated; he always liked having his family around him, especially at Christmas and New Year.

"That's something the younger generation have carried on as well.

"He grew up in Clackmannanshire and was always interested in local history, finding out about old place names and trails through the Ochils.

"He also loved to fish as well and go hillwalking. In fact, he last climbed Ben Cleuch at 83 – he was always very active."

As a youngsters, James attended Coalsnaughton Primary School before heading off to Alloa Academy.

Towards the end of World War II, he joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Queen's Royal Regiment.

He left the service as a captain, with the First Battalion, 10th Gurkha Rifles, having been stationed in Burma and India.

Afterwards, he went into teaching and later become head teacher at Banchory in Tullibody and then Clackmannan, before retiring.

Kenneth recalled his dad being "firm but fair" when he attended his school.

He added: "He was headmaster at school when we were there. Actually, we lived in the headmaster's house, which was this old stone building right across the street from the school.

"It was pretty strange him being there, but I know he was highly-thought of by the staff."

James passed away at home in Linlithgow, surrounded by family, on Tuesday, March 28, following a battle with prostate cancer.

He is survived by his wife Margaret, sons Kenneth, Alan and daughter Jennifer, as well as his three grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

The funeral service for James will take place at the West Lothian Crematorium in Livingston today (Wednesday) at 2pm.

Flowers are asked by the family only, though donations can be made to Cancer Research UK.