MR Robert Gray, the Glasgow monumental sculptor who repaired the damaged Stone of Destiny which was stolen from Westminster Abbey in 1950, served on Glasgow Corporation for 25 years from 1947 and became a bailie.

He died at the age of 79 in hospital on April 12, 1975, after a long illness.

For 25 years, Mr Gray kept silent on whether the stone returned to Westminster was the same as had been taken from the abbey. He said he had placed a message in the real stone when he repaired it and the text of this was contained in a letter to his wife Marion which was part of his will.

However, Mrs Gray said at the time of her husband's death that he had never told her which was the real stone.

Mrs Margo MacDonald, the former SNP MP for Govan, suggested yesterday that Mr Gray's family had been quite happy for the secret to die with him.

Mrs MacDonald recalled she had persuaded Mr Gray to rejoin the SNP in 1974. Mr Gray was one of the founders of the National Party of Scotland which later became the SNP.

Many nationalist splinter organisations were later formed, however. Mr Gray joined the Progressive Party and in 1947 won the Blythswood ward on Glasgow Corporation.

He served on the court of Glasgow University for many years. During his town council service, he was principally concerned with the work of the education and children's committees.

He became a justice of the peace and at the time of his death held the honorary office of master of works of Glasgow.

He was a governor of Glasgow School of Art from 1949 to 1972.