TRIBUTES have been paid to Lilliput Lane founder David Tate following his death at the age of 72.

The Brampton businessman’s family and friends say he will be remembered as a generous man of exceptional ability and determination, who loved colour and nature.

His wife of 52 years, Sandra, said: “Some people have lived to 100 years and haven’t done half of what he’s done. The 72 years he had were full.”

His daughters, Debbie Radcliffe, 51, and Jeanette Berry, 50, paid tribute to their loving dad as a man of immense talent, vision and dedication.

Mr Tate died on Tuesday at his home in Brampton. He had fought cancer for the last eight years after being diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer in 2008.

A self-made man, Mr Tate created the Lilliput Lane miniature cottages range in Penrith in 1982, starting with 20 employees.

That number grew to 600 as the business boomed; at one time there were 75,000 collectors worldwide.

The Queen presented Mr Tate with an MBE in the late 1980s for business and creating jobs.

Mr Tate was also known for the three acres of gardens at Garth House, Brampton, which he designed, tended and opened annually to the public.

His funeral will be at Carlisle Crematorium at 1.40pm on Wednesday, followed by a gathering at Heather Glen, Ainstable.

There will also be a celebration of his life at Penrith Methodist Church from 2pm on Saturday, February 25.

Some of the crafts that he made recently will be auctioned for charity and the family encourages all who knew him to go along.