TRIBUTES have been paid to former policeman for the University of Oxford and loving grandfather Jonathan Solesbury, after he died at the age of 73.

Mr Solesbury was described by his family as a "good old fashioned" policeman and a "loving, unique man".

He spent three decades working for Thames Valley Police, and was also headhunted by Oxford University to be a constable.

He was a lover of music and a member of an Oxford brass band for many years.

Jonathan Charles Solesbury was born on December 23 1942, to parents Violet and Jack.

He was one of six children, with siblings Vicky, Wendy, Heather, Philip and David.

Mr Solesbury grew up living with not just his parents, but also his great-grandfather and grandmother on a farm in Leighton Buzzard.

He spent a lot of time with his great-grandfather, learning to milk the cow and churn his own butter, collect the chicken and duck eggs and live off the land.

He was educated in Bedfordshire and left school at the age of 15, working full-time at a local butcher shop where he had been employed to some degree since he was 13.

It was while working there he met his future wife Kathleen.

The pair were together for five years before getting married in Hockliffe Church on September 7 1963, aged 19 and 20.

Soon after came four children; Jon, Janet, Michael and Paul.

With a large family to look after, Mr Solesbury sought a career change to the police and after training, became the village bobby in various parishes across the Thames Valley.

He stayed with Thames Valley Police for 30 years, progressing through traffic before ending up as Crown Court liaison officer in Oxford.

He was awarded a good conduct long service medal, in recognition of all his work, as well as the silver and golden jubilee medals.

His next move took him to Oxford University and into the lodge of Keble College, before he was headhunted by the University Police as a constable, also known as a Bulldog.

He had the honour of being the last serving University Bulldog.

While serving with the university, his driving skills came to the fore and he found himself driving the Chancellor Lord Patten and the Vice Chancellor at one time.

He remained with Oxford University until retiring on his 70th birthday.

Mr Solesbury had a passion for brass banding, after being hooked when daughter Janet brought home a cornet from school and taught him some notes in 1973.

He joined Thames Valley Police Band as a novice player of the cornet and then started learning other instruments as time went on.

Following the disbandment of the Police Band in 1995, he joined Jubilee Brass Band in Oxford, who he had been a guest player for a number of years. He again played a number of instruments until finally settling on bass.

He also loved gardening and passed his fruit and vegetable growing skills on to his grandchildren.

Mr Solesbury died on Wednesday, April 27 after a long battle with cancer.

He is survived by wife Kath, his children and his seven grandchildren.

His funeral will be held tomorrow at Oxford Crematorium at noon.