Daughter’s tribute to lifelong Sidmouth resident

TRIBUTES have been paid to a late lifelong Sidmouth resident with a passion for his family and the town band.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a lifelong Sidmouth resident with a passion for his family and the town band.

The funeral of Second World War veteran Maurice Gooding, pictured, 89, took place last Friday after he died on November 30.

His daughter Sheila Guest, of Two Bridges Road, Sidford, this week paid tribute to her dad- a member of Sidmouth Town Band for more than seven decades. He celebrated his 70th year in the band in 2003.

Sheila said: “I am sure dad will be remembered in his last few years, doing his shopping, with his red bag, always pleased to stop for a chat.

“He was always pleasant and easy to please. As a friend said, he had good manners and always tried to help.”

Granddad Maurice, the son of a Sidmouth wheelwright turned council foreman, and grandson of Toff Mortimore, a well-known town crier, was the youngest of 10 children who grew up in Lonely Cottage- now Roxborough Car Park.

Most Read

“As a very young lad he joined the local brass band of the time, along with his two brothers. They dropped out, but dad stayed. Sidmouth Town Band became his lifelong friend,” said Sheila.

Maurice married the love of his life, Beryl Bastin, in 1942 when he was on four days army leave before he was sent to North Africa and then Italy. On his return from the war the couple settled down to married life.

Maurice, a former postman, became the captain of Sidmouth Rugby Club and was heavily involved with the town band.

“As mum and dad got older, band, and walking was their life. They were great as grandparents and took our two children off to do and see many things,” said Sheila.

Maurice was a former secretary and treasurer to the town band, with help from Beryl, a book-keeper.

“Dad worked hard at keeping the band going at sticky times. He also enjoyed teaching the youngsters, many now grown up, but still playing,” added Sheila.

She said of both her late parents: “A life well lived and we miss you both.”