Gordon Beresford was born in Chesterfield on 8 June 1931. At the outbreak of war in 1939 there wasn’t an air raid shelter at Gordon’s Primary School and so all the pupils transferred to a ‘special school’ on the outskirts of Chesterfield. Whenever the sirens sounded, they all had to go into a tree-lined vale adjoining the school grounds and into a makeshift shelter.
In 1942 Gordon was thrilled to go to Tapton House Grammar School in Chesterfield, which had been the school of George Stephenson, inventor of the Rocket locomotive. He passed his Matriculation Board examinations with flying colours and in November 1946 started work with Chesterfield Corporation in the Weights and Measures Department as an Assistant to an Inspector.
1947 was a really noteworthy year. It started off with weeks of bleak, cold weather, deep snow, power cuts and fuel shortages. However, that was the year Gordon met Margaret, and they married in 1950.
Both Gordon and Margaret were actively involved in the Scouting movement and in August 1947 Gordon was chosen to attend the sixth World Jamboree in Paris. The following year he was awarded the ‘Kings Scout Badge’ by Lord Rowallan – the Chief Scout – for proficiency in various areas of Scouting and Public Service.
In 1949, at the age of eighteen, Gordon was called up for compulsory conscription and signed on for National Service in the Royal Air Force for two years. Following his National Service, Gordon joined Worcestershire County Council and passed the Board of Trade qualification to become an Inspector of Weights and Measures in 1955. Later that year he was appointed as an Inspector with Worcester City Council.
In 1961 Gordon was appointed to the post of Deputy Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures for Southport County Borough Council. During his service in Southport Gordon had to deal with a major incident. A small garage owner claimed he was losing large quantities of petrol and, fearing theft or possible leakage, asked the council to investigate. It did not take long for Gordon to establish that there was a leakage, on a grand scale, with petrol fumes evident under neighbouring buildings and in underground telephone ducts several hundred yards away. Having taken all necessary safety precautions, Gordon asked his assistant, Bob Wright – now a CTSI Vice President and Fellow – to crawl under the ground floor of a local bank, armed with an explosimeter.
Gordon passed the Diploma of Public Administration in 1963 and in April 1965 was appointed Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures for Hastings Borough Council. Amongst other things, he became the proud owner of the 1066 seal of approval which, when applied to weighing and measuring equipment, indicated that the equipment was fit for trade use.
Following reorganisation of local government in 1974, Gordon was appointed Assistant County Trading Standards Officer for East Sussex County Council, based in Lewes. Gordon was highly regarded for his great professional knowledge and warm personal qualities. He retired in 1997.
Having moved to Seaford in 1976 Gordon joined the Probus Club and entered into their many and varied activities with his usual enthusiasm and expertise. Through Margaret’s interest in crafts, especially lace making, and Gordon’s ability to produce wood turning and carving, it was decided, in 1992, to set up Blatchington Lace Suppliers. Gordon made an extensive range of bobbins, tools and stands in his workshop, including the Beresford coat of arms. Gordon and Margaret attended lace fairs and lace groups throughout East Sussex and became resident suppliers for the Meridian Lacemakers.
Sadly Margaret passed away on 9 April, 2018. Gordon is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
One of Gordon’s favourite activities was to dress up as Father Christmas or the Great Gordino, performing magic tricks at his grandchildren’s parties. There was no limit to how far he would go to entertain his family.
Gordon, who passed away in Hastings on 7 September at the age of 91, was a lovely and talented man. We offer our sincere condolences to his remaining family.