Tributes to ‘larger than life character’ Rowly, 75

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A former scout leader who drove buses for more than 40 years has died.

Tributes have been paid to Rowland Kettlewell, known as “Rowly”, who died at on Monday at Pinderfields Hospital aged 75 after a long illness.

Mr Kettlewell, of Kirkthorpe, joined the West Riding Bus Company, which later became Arriva, when he was 19.

He left aged 26, but had returned by the time he was 30 and spent the next 35 years as a driver, mainly on the 484, 110, 443 and 189 routes.

During the 1970s and early 1980s he was also a special constable in Wakefield, before becoming a scout master in Normanton, and later Sandal in the late 1990s.

He was often called upon to play Father Christmas at Sandal Endowed Junior School and at Christmas bazaars at St Peter’s Church, Kirkthorpe, where he worshipped.

Mr Kettlewell’s wife Mildred died nine years ago and lived alone in Kirkthorpe, but had also previously lived in Middlestown, Ossett and Normanton.

One of his former scouts, Super League referee Ben Thaler, said: “Rowly was a great character, a truly lovely gentle giant of a man who would do anything for anyone.

“Having heard some tributes by many of his former scouts and friends this week it’s clear that Rowly leaves this world a better place for him being in it”

A funeral will be held at St Peters Church, Kirkthorpe, on Tuesday, followed by a private cremation.