Two women have paid tribute to their artist father, describing him as a figure who would "always be there".

John Abbott, of March, died aged 70 earlier this month at Addenbrooke's Hospital after a short period with an aggressive form of cancer.

During his younger years, he had a career in the railway and started painting cartoons and caricatures of people and events.

When he was made redundant, John opened up his own shop on March High Street, having loved painting since his childhood.

His eldest daughter Carrie said: “Dad was always doing something whether that was painting or fishing or working.

"He wasn’t one to be particularly idle.”

“When we were on holiday, he’d always have his paint box out and if he wasn’t fishing, he was painting!”

John set up Buds, a clothes shop, in 1994. He’d put some of his pictures up on the wall as a bit of decoration and they ended up getting a lot of interest.

“It was at that point I think he thought ‘actually I could make a career out of this’.

"He’d wanted to do that for a long time but never had the confidence,” said Carrie.

Born on August 21, 1951 at March Maternity Home, John had lived in March all his life.

From his time in and outside of work, he was known to many in the town.

“Dad liked to hold onto his connections so he had some very long friendships.

"He was still friends with a man called Eddie who he’d known all his life," said Carrie.

“He would always be there or at the end of the phone. He'd offer his help to anyone freely. He was a very sociable person.”

John was known to many as ‘The Fenland Artist’. He enjoyed exhibiting and selling his work.

“He absolutely loved that title as it described him, his passion and his home area,” said Carrie.

“His home was in his heart.”

She added: "When myself and my sister, Amy went out into town as teenagers, people would say ‘oh it’s John’s daughters’ and his paintings were everywhere.

“He painted every single pub in March. Even the funeral directors we’ve gone with, George James & Son, has his paintings on the wall!

John leaves two daughters, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A service at Fenland Crematorium will take place on Friday (October 22).