A BUS company has paid a special tribute to the “oldest gay in the village”, who died earlier this year.

George Montague, a famous fixture of Brighton Pride and activist for LGBTQ+ rights, passed away peacefully at his home in March at the age of 98.

He had fought tirelessly to receive an apology from the government for a conviction for gross indecency in the 1970s because of his sexuality - a campaign that lasted 43 years.

Now George has been immortalised on an open-top bus by Brighton and Hove Buses at a special unveiling attended by his husband Somchai.

He said: “This is such a wonderful way to honour George. He loved the Pride parade and people loved seeing him part of it. Now he can continue to be remembered every year.

“The bus also runs past my house, so I can now look out for it every day.”

The Argus: George Montague with husband Somchai at the last Pride parade in 2019George Montague with husband Somchai at the last Pride parade in 2019

George’s daughter, Paula Farrow, said she was “extremely proud and very grateful” to the bus company for the gesture, recognising his long life and many achievements.

She said: “Brighton Pride was always his favourite day of the year and we know he would have been thrilled to be honoured in this way.”

The bus bearing his name and a vinyl that reads “The Oldest Gay in the Village” will appear in the Pride community parade.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Pride said: “George Montague was one of the highlights of our annual LGBTQ+ community parade and always got huge cheers wherever he went.

“As a tireless campaigner for equality, he was instrumental in getting legislation changes and government apologies.

“His work has made a huge difference to thousands of people and he will be very much missed.”

Ed Wills, managing director at Brighton and Hove Buses, said that the company was proud to support the LGBTQ+ community in Brighton and Hove by honouring “a local hero”.

He said: “For many years, George was an integral part of the Brighton and Hove Pride parade, and now he can continue to be part of it for years to come.”

The tribute to George Montague can be seen on open-top bus 919.