Service of thanksgiving to be held for former Wellington Civic Society chairman

A former chairman of Wellington Civic Society, Ross Vickers, has died at the age of 78.

Ross Vickers.
Ross Vickers.

Among other roles, Ross and his wife Dorothy provided the meals on wheels service in the Wellington area for many years and in 2013 were among volunteers from the Royal Voluntary Service who met the Duchess of Cornwall at St Paul's Cathedral, London.

They were in a "guard of honour" at the service of thanksgiving to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the RVS – formerly the Women's Royal Voluntary Service. There were only 12 in the guard of honour, of whom Ross was the only man.

And as a schoolboy he was one of the first in Shropshire to gain the Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Outside the Houses of Parliament with fellow pupils who had achieved the Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Ross is behind the pointing Bill Yates, the then Wrekin MP.

"He was involved in near enough everything in Wellington, really," said his wife of 57 years, Dorothy, who is nicknamed "Tot" (not, as might be expected, "Dot").

"He was the most wonderful husband anybody could ever have. If he could not do good he would not do bad to anybody."

Ross is survived by Dorothy, daughter Victoria, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, namesake son Ross, who lives in Wellington, and four grandsons. A private cremation has taken place and a service of thanksgiving is being arranged.

In childhood, Ross lived at The Grove, Hadley, and attended Trench Boys Modern School where he became head boy and in May 1961 was one of seven of the school's pupils who went to Buckingham Palace to receive their Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award from the Duke – the first seven in Shropshire to do so.

Ross, left, during a visit to Trench Boys Modern School by its patron Sir John Hunt, who led the 1953 expedition which conquered Everest – the school was later named after Sir John.

Aged 16, he joined Audley Engineering at Newport as an engineering apprentice, and was with the firm until he was about 20 and then joined C&W Walker at Donnington.

Ultimately he became an architect for brewers Bass, based in Burton-on-Trent.

Ross first met Dorothy when she was 15 when he called in to her father Bill Perry's bike shop in Wellington for some spare parts for his bike. It was love at first sight and they wed at All Saints Church in Wellington on Wednesday, March 31, 1965, following a Perry family tradition to marry on a Wednesday. It was a fortnight after Ross turned 21. Their honeymoon was abroad, in Majorca, which was almost unheard of for the time.

Ross was to become verger at the church and also a sidesman.

His interest in the history and heritage of Wellington was reflected in his role as chairman of the town's civic society, and he was also a former chairman of the Friends of Ironbridge Gorge Museum. He was a past president of Wrekin Rotary Club.

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