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Air scout founder fondly remembered

PUBLISHED: 11:27 12 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:49 16 September 2010

Gordon Steward, left, with 1st Carlton Colville Air Scouts at Lakenheath in 1952

Gordon Steward, left, with 1st Carlton Colville Air Scouts at Lakenheath in 1952

THE life of a popular Lowestoft figure was celebrated when friends, family and associates gathered together in Carlton Colville.

Gordon Steward was well-known across the town for his strong commitment to a wide variety of organisations, including time working with British Transport Police and Lowestoft College.

THE life of a popular Lowestoft figure was celebrated when friends, family and associates gathered together in Carlton Colville.

Gordon Steward was well-known across the town for his strong commitment to a wide variety of organisations, including time working with British Transport Police and Lowestoft College. But it will probably be his work with local air scouts that will remain his lasting legacy.

He was brought up in Reeve Street, in Lowestoft, alongside sisters Doreen, Ethel and Jean. His father William was an army sergeant and when war was declared, Gordon was keen to follow in his footsteps, enlisting with the RAF.

He became a flight sergeant paratrooper instructor, but was lucky to survive when he broke his back landing in a cesspit in 1945.

Returning to Carlton Colville, he brought up three children - Molly, David and Carol - with his teenage sweetheart Joan Jacobs.

After the war he joined the British Transport Police, a position he would hold for 25 years.

“It was said that 'if anything moved Gordon knew about it!' Many will remember Gordon when he was on duty at Lowestoft train station amongst the busy hustle and bustle of everyday activities,” said his granddaughter Karen Goffin.

It was during this time that Mr Steward founded the 1st Carlton Colville Air Scout Group.

He dedicated many years of his life to the group and was delighted to be guest of honour at a special 50th anniversary celebration in 2001.

More than 160 past and present members, leaders and friends attended the event, and up to his death Mr Steward was still emailing former air scouts who now live all over the world. He also lovingly kept a large collection of photographs that documented the countless number of activities that he helped the group enjoy.

Mrs Goffin said: “There are many ex-scouts who have great tales to tell about camping with Gordon and his amazing leadership and life skills which have now been passed on to new generations.

“Many went on to be successful businessmen, air line pilots and even squadron leaders in the RAF.”

After leaving the police, Mr Steward worked as a technician in Lowestoft College's pottery department for 10 years.

Here he picked up a love of ceramics, which complimented his love of photography and woodturning.

In his final years Gordon dedicated himself to the care of his wife Joan and two years ago helped to pioneer a new wristband scheme to help nurses identify sufferers of Alzheimer's and dementia at James Paget University Hospital.

Gordon Steward died aged 90, a dedicated family man. He had three children, nine grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild on the way. His funeral was held at St Peter's Church, in Carlton Colville.


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