Tributes to scout leader, 70

A stalwart of Scouting in Calderdale, Maurice Ormerod has died at the age of 70.

Maurice, of West Street, Todmorden, was scout leader – Skipper – of the 20th Calder Valley Scouts, based at Todmorden C of E School, from late 1979 until the late 1980s, also taking on the role of one of the area’s senior scouting figures, becoming District Commissioner.

Through this he became a familiar face to beavers, cubs and scouts at functions and competitions throughout the Calder Valley during his tenure of more than ten years.

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A Todmorden man, Maurice went to Shade and Todmorden Secondary schools, and on leaving initially trained as a butcher in the town, then travelling to work over the border in Bacup, Lancashire.

He then changed career and retrained as a plumber, becoming City and Guilds qualified and working for his father-in-law John Wilkinson’s company, until moving on to become part of the maintenance team at Ward and Goldstone – later Volex Wiring Systems – at its Mons Mill, Burnley Road, Todmorden, premises.

After the company closed its Todmorden premises at the end of the 90s he also worked for a while on maintenance at Volex’s Butts Mill complex at Leigh.

Maurice and his twin brother Martin, who passed away in 1982, were both involved in scouting in the town during one of its most popular periods, Martin at the 26th Calder Valley and Maurice with the 20th, both involved in Todmorden Gang Show on-stage and behind the scenes.

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Events organised by Maurice for the 20th troop included camps at Ashworth Valley, Rochdale, in 1980 and at Hexham in Northumberland in 1985, among others, and he loved a good camp fire singalong. At Ashworth Valley Maurice, fellow scout leader Roy Bentley and senior scouts helped deal with an emergency when a Guide at a neighbouring camp was seriously injured in a ravine fall.

In all he was closely involved in scouting for around 25 years.

A service to celebrate Maurice’s life will be held at 1.30pm on Tuesday, June 7, at St Mary’s Church in Todmorden town centre, followed by cremation at Burnley and then a reception at Todmorden Cricket Club. He leaves his wife Jean, sons Simon and David and daughter Rachel, grand-daughters Saffy and Poppy, and grandsons Ashley, Michael and Jacob.