One man’s tireless good work to help thousands of people is being remembered in his community.
Gordon Storey, who has died, aged 72, gave huge support to charities, schools, local businesses and many other groups and individuals.
Mr Storey, a Twyford resident for 42 years, was devoted to the village and its surrounding community.
MP Theresa May said: “Gordon was a key figure in Twyford. The village owes a great deal to Gordon who did so much to bring the whole community together and bring new life to Twyford”.
Jo Jo, Mr Storey’s wife of 48 years, spoke with pride about his work. “Many people have made marvellous comments about what he did. When lockdowns came we couldn’t go out, but he was still organising things in the village from home,” she said.
Villagers’ tributes included: “a true local hero” and “an absolute legend, supported by the wonderful Jo Jo.”
Mrs Storey said her husband had mentored young people and helped pupils at The Piggott and Polehampton Schools. A few years ago he was Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, representing the Queen.
Mr and Mrs Storey met at a new year’s eve party for Mr Storey’s fellow cricket team members. “That was it,” she said. “I knew, very much, that I had met the right person.” Their children are David living in Caversham and Tilly living in Marlow. They both have two children each.
Mr Storey worked at Mars in Slough, becoming senior scientist in Europe, said Mrs Storey. He helped many Slough charities.
Gordon Holmes, Twyford and District Age Concern’s day centre former manager, said: “Gordon was the main driver behind Twyford Charities Together and helped raise money for local charities: Age Concern, Camp Mohawk, Building for the Future and Daisy’s Dream as well as Piggott Senior School.”
He added: “He did a lot directly for Age Concern, he was the driving force behind fundraising to build the day centre conservatory. And he organised volunteers to provide all the ingredients for Christmas lunches at the day centre for an entire week.”
Mr Storey was also a driving force in getting the Business Forum started as part of Twyford Village Partnership, now Twyford Together.
He organised many community events, many now annual fixtures, such as Twyford in Bloom and the Fun Run.
He never accepted ‘no’ for an answer when asking for help with a project. “In short, we all, as a community of Twyford, Ruscombe and the environs, owe a debt of gratitude to him for all he achieved in bringing us all closer together,” added Mr Holmes.
Mr Storey helped the Snooker Club refurbishment fundraising. Twyford Health and Wellbeing Group ensured care was provided for elderly people and those living with dementia. He had defibrillators installed in the area.
He worked with a local philanthropist to provide wheelchairs, and also organised photo competitions and an advent calendar showing village events. He was a strong presence at the annual Donkey Derby. “His network with influential people like Theresa May and others was amazing,” added Mr Holmes. He said Mr Storey had died, unexpectedly, on February 9.
Twyford Parish Council chairman Roy Mantel said: “His driving force was to do the best for Twyford.
“He tirelessly promoted and supported a vast variety of events including the Christmas Fair. He was Master of Ceremonies at the lighting-up of the Christmas illuminations, where he always managed to find a celebrity to switch on the Christmas tree lights.”
Wokingham Borough councillor for Twyford Lindsay said: “Gordon had that ability to talk to people and persuade them which meant good things happened which otherwise might not have done or they might have come along later. His enthusiasm was the catalyst. He was extremely friendly and open.”