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Tributes to much loved King's Lynn Scout leader, a ‘friend to everyone’

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Scouts formed a guard of honour outside a crematorium and hundreds of people lined the streets to pay their respects to a West Norfolk man.

Mervyn Beckett passed away at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital on July 24 at the age of 60 with his funeral taking place on Tuesday.

The Downham-born father of Daniel and Adam had been the leader of the 12th Lynn Scouts Group since 2008.

Merv Beckett in 1940's style Scout uniform. Picture: Steve Ruskin
Merv Beckett in 1940's style Scout uniform. Picture: Steve Ruskin

His sons were part of the Scout group and Mr Beckett enjoyed being an air rifle and archery instructor, as well as going on camping trips with the Scouts.

Mervyn’s wife Carole said: “He was loved by everyone and was always there if you needed something.

“He kept the local pubs in business and was well known around the local pub scene. He was a friend to everyone and also loved the local music scene. He supported the local bands and was just one of those people who, if you gave him a ring or an email, he would do what he could.”

Mervyn and Carole met at a Lynn speedway fixture in 1980 and he was a big fan of the sport.

As well as his passion for speedway, he was part of the West Norfolk Supporters Group for Norwich City Football Club, and would help to organise a coach of at least 50 fans to home and away matches.

Having been born in Downham, he moved to Lynn with his wife and started work at the borough council as a technical officer for the Care and Repair team in 2012.

Mrs Beckett said neighbours came out onto the road to pay their respects for Mervyn on Tuesday as his coffin passed through town.

She said there were 200 people on Gayton Road, while present and former members of the Scouts group formed a guard of honour outside the Mintlyn Crematorium.

His brother Patrick posted on social media this week which said: “Due to current regulations, the service was very much a quieter affair than it would have been during ‘normal times’.

“However, many of those that were not allowed to attend, took to the pavements of Vancouver Avenue (Merv’s home) and Gayton Road.

“It was a truly overwhelming sight to see so many people wishing to see Merv off safely, on his final journey.”

He added: “Merv was truly unique, with his often beaded beard, his vast collection of hats and his infectious sense of humour.

“He loved working with the Scouts, as a leader, a passion that was fuelled from his teenage years when he was a Scout himself.

“Though not a particularly religious man, if being a good person, willing to help anyone, and never wishing harm to anyone makes you a Christian, then that’s what Merv was, a friend to everyone he knew.”

He was a devoted grandad of Cody, Alfie and Freddie, a dearly loved son of Kay and Geoff and a dear brother of Gerald, James, Patrick and Marie.

He died peacefully at Lynn’s hospital following a battle with cancer.

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