Derrick Pountney, of Broseley, Shropshire 1925 – 2017
Ramblers life member from 1943
We would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Derrick Pountney.
Our older members will have fond memories of Derrick who was a Ramblers' life member, an active volunteer in the Broseley & Much Wenlock Ramblers Association Group, before it became absorbed into Telford & East Shropshire Ramblers. He was a member of Shropshire Area from its inauguration in 1983, and its Chairman from 1986 – 1990. Derrick was apparently a member of the Ramblers Association since 1943, so may have been possibly the longest living member until his recent death.
Derrick was locally famous for his knowledge of Broseley footpaths. His work to keep them clear and open and accessible and to get them added to the definitive rights of way map was legendary. Only last year he was complaining to a town council meeting about obstructed paths! He was instrumental in recording and claiming the famous Broseley jitties as rights of way. His knowledge of local history was equally valued by the local community. Would we have the popular published Broseley Town Trail and the Broseley Jitties Trail without Derrick - probably not?
For many years Derrick was a footpath secretary on behalf of the Ramblers in the Broseley and Much Wenlock areas, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the local paths, and would sometimes turn up at the beginning of a programmed walk to say hello and pass on any knowledge he thought useful about the route.
On an occasion last year, he started to tell the party about why he joined Ramblers - quite simply it was so he could claim for his community the right to walk on the paths and jitties he knew, both now and forever in the future. He said he was walking on a path in his younger days, got stopped by the landowner, told friends and someone said "better join the Ramblers then".
He was a true campaigner for walkers' rights all his life and the local community knew that, recognised it and gave him their respect and, from the many tributes recently paid to him during his life and after his death, their affection.
Ramblers were represented at the funeral by John Newnham (current Chair of Shrewsbury and Vice Chair of Shropshire Area). John knew him well as John is a former Rights of Way Officer, and Derrick claimed very many paths as forgotten Rights of Way.