A much loved former councillor whose genius as a craftsman saw him transform his own home into a showplace over a 50 year period has died aged 89.

John Penfold, of Lockets Close, Dedworth was a senior lecturer at Shoreditch College's Englefield Green campus for two decades, sharing his skills as he trained future teachers.

His family is particularly proud of a conference he helped organised in 1978 at Englefield Green for 400 girls at which they were encouraged to think of jobs in design technology - broadening their horizons beyond traditional female career paths. He used his holiday periods to work for UNESCO training future lecturers as far afield as Indonesia.

The home he shared with his wife Eileen for over 40 years was transformed as he designed and built all the furniture - using his extraordinary skill with wood to make tables, chairs and flooring as well as beautifully sculpted wooden figurines. His home boasted a large workshop where he did it all.

His son Julian said: "He once brought two planks of wood back from a farm. I could not imagine what could be done with them but he turned them into a beautiful kitchen table. There are areas of the kitchen unit that were made 50 years apart and you cannot tell the difference in the quality, they match perfectly."

Mr Penfold founded the History of Design Group for the University of the Third Age, which held meetings monthly at his house. He shared his skills with the world when he published his book Craft, Design and Technology - Past, Present and Future which was translated into Japanese.

His son said: "He was modest man but he had so much knowledge. He would amaze you because there was nothing he could not talk about."

He was a renowned expert on the British textile designer, poet, novelist William Morris and lectured about him.

When his beloved wife Eileen died in 2004, Mr Penfold stood in her place and became a councillor for Clewer North in the ward she had represented.

He leaves his son Julian, daughter Sarah and seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter Helen.