Tributes have been paid to a well-respected and remarkable Ribble Valley woman who dedicated a lifetime to helping others.
Miss Moira Edwards Walker, who was a member of the Girl Guides for over 80 years and former Guider-in-Charge of Waddow Hall, passed away at Clitheroe Hospital aged 93.
Miss Walker was born in Litherland, but her family relocated to Nottingham due to her father’s employment. Miss Walker attended Manning Grammar School for Girls, where she was head girl in her final year. She had a passion for sports and her career began at Wyggeston Grammar School for Girls where she was the PE teacher.
In 1967 the Guide Association asked Miss Walker to take the position of Guider-in-Charge at Waddow Hall, Waddington. This post was intended to be for six months until someone else was appointed, but Miss Walker was so successful that she stayed for 15 years.
Long hours were required to maintain the standards Miss Walker put in place – rarely finishing work the same day as she started. One of her proudest moments was when Princess Margaret officially visited Waddow Hall in 1981.
After retirement, Miss Walker lived within the sight of Waddow Hall and continued her care and interest in the Guide Association by fulfilling several roles within the Trefoil Guild, originally in Manchester and latterly at Waddow.
She was also the county vice-president of Lancashire East Girl Guiding, and with the knowledge she gained during her working life, in her long retirement she was able to make valued contributions to many societies and committees.
A true community stalwart, she was a member of the WRVS, the Civic Society, Waddington Women’s Institute, Waddington Church, St Mary’s Church, Sabden, and a governor at Pendle Primary School. At Ribblesdale Children’s Centre she served as a governor for 25 years until ill health forced her to retire.
Paying tribute, her nephew Nigel Edwards Walker, said: “My aunt was the original Iron Lady.
“Underneath that charming exterior was a will of pure steel. It was this determination that carried her through these last years of illness and it ensured that she remained in her beloved cottage until almost the very end.”
“The passing of Moira is like the end of an era. When she used to come down to Nottingham to visit us, our family used to say it was like having a visit from the Queen Mother!
“She was a remarkable woman who helped many people throughout her life. She worked tirelessly whilst running Waddow Hall and she and her dear friend, Des, achieved many successes for the Girl Guide Association – both financially and in making the hall a success.
“She had a lifetime of love for all the animals and, since she retired, she had found great joy in feeding the birds outside her kitchen window and watching the varied animal life on the river bank.
“This ‘watching’ included looking out for any stray fishermen – and woe betide them if they didn’t possess the correct angling licence.”
“Moira was a woman of great faith, integrity and honesty.
“She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.”