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Noel Gould

Funeral arrangements and tributes

Long time and previous members of Devon Orienteering Club will be sad to hear that Noel Gould passed away on Friday 4th March. Our thoughts are with all of the family.

Details of funeral arrangements can be seen below. Two tributes can also be seen below.  

Funeral arrangements: Noel's funeral is to take place on Friday the 18th of March. He had requested that no one wears "upper class clothes", by which the family take to mean no black traditional funeral clothes, but rather running, walking, orienteering or brightly coloured clothes.  Any orienteers past and present who knew Noel are welcome, and the family are keen for people to feel they can attend all, or part of the funeral, as they wish or are able to.

The Service is at 2pm at St. Petroc's Church, South Brent, TQ10 9AG, followed by the burial at 4pm at Sharpham Natural Burial Ground, nr. Totnes, TQ9 7DX. This will then be followed by the wake at old Station House Café (used to be Royal Oak) in South Brent from 6pm. (If you are able to, please text or call Caedmon on 07523 781172 if you are planning to come to the wake to give an idea of numbers - but the family will also be happy if people just turn up.)

There will also be an informal walk beforehand from Station car park, South Brent, TQ10 9EX for those that want to take part which will start at 10.00am. 

Andy Reynolds writes: I think the Gould family were some of the first Club members I got to know, and certainly that I got to recognise, as they were very active in the Club’s events, and there were a good number of them!

Noel and Geraldine contributed a huge amount to both Devon and SWOA: organising and planning events, attending committee meetings, and generally for many years, being the driving force in the Club and region.  They edited the SWOA magazine, SINS, for many years, which in those days meant physically collating it and printing several hundred copies, which all had to be distributed across the region by hand. They must have spent countless hours at this, and in planning events. I know there were many late nights at their house.

I don’t remember Noel running any colour other than Brown, even as an M70. He didn’t see why he should as long as he could still do it. He took his orienteering very seriously, in a calm, laid back sort of way. He was rarely flustered, and generally unhurried, much to the annoyance of Geraldine, who wasn’t!

I have fond memories of catching lifts in their van to events and Committee meetings, and most memorably, the Dorset Coast Path Relay. We always tried to get a team together from Devon, but usually lacked the numbers to seriously compete with the SW Squad and other Club teams. Geraldine and I would spend a lot of the day driving madly from beach to beach trying to ensure we didn’t leave anyone behind. As Noel didn’t drive, he was freed from the stress of driving, and tended to run some of the longer sections, rarely taking on any refreshments. I was always in awe of his energy and hoped I’d be that fit at his age.

My condolences on behalf of the Club to his children and grandchildren. We owe him and Geraldine a great debt for all they contributed to the sport.

Bryan Smith writes: I remember Noel well, and  also Noel's wife Geraldine who passed away in summer 2020. Their family commitment to orienteering was exceptional, with Noel and Geraldine collectively being hugely involved in the sport. Not only did this extend to the development of many of their children as first rate junior (and then more senior) orienteers but they also had a legendary role in selling orienteering themed jig-saws at events; I currently have two on the window sill in front of me. In addition, they attended many events as Ultrasport agents for the region. As I recall, Noel took a dogged personal approach to participation; the weather did not affect his involvement and his stamina did not let him down, exemplified by his active membership also of the Long Distance Walkers Association. For a good number of years the Gould family was central to orienteering in Devon and orienteering was right at the heart of their family life.