A VISUAL tribute has been paid to a former Blackburn with Darwen Council boss at one of the North West’s biggest tourism events.

As thousands of cyclists descended on Blackpool for a special preview of the world-famous Illuminations, the memory of deputy chief executive Steve Weaver was honoured in a series of photographs.

The 64-year-old was killed in a hit-and-run accident in France this summer. He was knocked off his bike near his holiday home in Provence.

The keen cyclist, who lived in Revidge, was one of the architects of the creation of Blackburn with Darwen Council in 1988 and chief executive of Blackpool Council from 2002 to 2011.

Participants of the annual ‘Ride the Lights’ events, which give cyclists a sneak peek of the Illuminations, were able to see the images of Mr Weaver at both North Pier and Pyramid screens. Council bosses in Blackpool decided to honour Mr Weaver because he was the brains behind the annual spectacle.

The screens showed his image and the words “Steve Weaver, former CE of Blackpool Council and supporter of Ride the Lights”.

Chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council Harry Catherall described the tribute as a moving gesture. He said: “Steve was a good friend, as well as a mentor of mine and his passion for cycling was boundless. This is a fantastic and fitting tribute from Blackpool which his friends and family will be proud of.”

As the Ride the Lights event got under way daytrippers on bicycles of all descriptions cycled through the display en masse. There was also a host of musical entertainment on the Rock FM stage hosted by Danny Bee on the Tower Festival Headland along with exhibitors and workshops.

The annual event sees the promenade fully closed to vehicles for one night only.

Hundreds of riders from East Lancashire took part including cyclists from the Great Harwood Boots and Bikes project. The route ran from Starr Gate, South Shore all the way through to Red Bank Road, Bispham.

Tickets remain available for Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On Festival Weekend starting Friday. For more information visit www.visitblackpool.com/switchon