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Darwen's scouting community in mourning for Ron Ryder
A FORMER district commissioner for Darwen Scouts has died, aged 85.
Ron Ryder, of Bolton Road, passed away at his home on Saturday. Relatives and friends paid tribute to a ‘lovely’ man who fell in love with Darwen after moving to the town 30 years ago.
Originally from Crewe, Mr Ryder worked for Barclays Bank, and came to the Darwen branch in Church Street from Penrith.
He worked his way up from an office junior to eventually becoming manager of the bank.
In his spare time, Mr Ryder devoted his life to scouting and was a leader at the St Cuthbert’s Scouts Group, as well as becoming district commissioner, forging links between the town and Denmark and Sweden.
Niece Norma Sykes said the family had tried to get him to move back to Cheshire but he had none of it. She said: “He moved to Darwen and fell in love with the town. He had a lot of friends there.”
Mrs Sykes said Ron was a fantastic uncle. She said: “He was a lovely man. He was quite private but loved company and children. We have a large family and the kids loved going to stay with him. He was very good fun and liked making people laugh.
“When you were with him he was quite a big personality, often larger than life, but never loud.”
Outside of scouting, Mrs Sykes said he enjoyed walking, music, opera and had recently been researching his family tree.
District commissioner for Darwen Scouts Michael Grime said: “Ron was involved in several groups in Darwen and, with other leaders, was instrumental in setting up new groups at Lower Darwen, Hoddlesden and St Joseph’s, and also walking over the moors, from Darwen and back each week, to Tockholes to resurrect the group in the village.
“Ron had over 44 years service as a leader and was awarded the prestigious ‘Silver Wolf’ personal award from the Chief Scout for his dedication and service of an exceptional nature, to the movement.
“Many young people have and are still benefiting from the challenges that Ron accomplished in Darwen.”
Mr Ryder leaves a brother and sister who both live in Cheshire, and had many nieces and nephews. Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalised.
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