I was pleased to join members, and former members, of the Northamptonshire Ramblers on 6 August for dinner at Wadenhoe, to thank Maurice Tebbutt who had retired from Area office after more than 50 years.
He had latterly served as area footpath secretary, but had also been area secretary and vice-chairman.
Maurice joined the Ramblers in 1958, having discovered them through his membership of the Northampton Youth Hostels Association Rambling and Social Club. Then there was no Northamptonshire Area, but a much larger East Midlands Area, covering Leicestershire and Rutland too. Maurice was instrumental in splitting off Northamptonshire to form its own area in 1989.
Maurice is one of our Ramblers’ heroes, he has worked tirelessly and efficiently for our cause—he is always there. Northamptonshire Area has a proud record of campaigns: exposing blocked paths on the Spencers’ Althorp estate and the Duke of Buccleugh’s Kettering estate, campaigning for paths around Pitsford Reservoir and at Lilford, battling successfully to get paths included on the list of streets at Kingsthorpe, Northampton; the fight against forestry privatisation in 1993, promoting Rockingham Forest, Northants, as a prime example of a forest which should remain public; winning a bridge over the new A14 road between Twywell and Woodford, and fighting for access to Yardley Chase—to name a few. Maurice was there for all these campaigns and contributed greatly to ensuring Northamptonshire has been and remains an effective Ramblers’ area.
As Bob Coles, the area president said at the dinner, Maurice is not only knowledgeable but immensely kind, he will always help someone in need, whether it’s taking them to the hospital or visiting them there. You can always count on Maurice.
Fortunately Maurice has not retired completely. He is footpath secretary for a number of parishes in the county and we can still benefit from his knowledge, expertise and experience.
Thank you Maurice for your half-century-plus of hard work for our cause, and may you enjoy a long and happy ‘retirement’.