Obituary: Les Puttock – former New Forest District Council chair
TRIBUTES have been paid to a former New Forest District Council chair who has died age 84.
Les Puttock was hailed as “a pleasure to work with” by current NFDC leader Cllr Edward Heron, who added: “He was a true gentleman and will be greatly missed.”
As a councillor, Les was voted onto NFDC in 2003 as a Conservative member for the Ashurst, Copythorne South and Netley Marsh ward, serving the area until he stood down in 2019.
He was vice-chair during 2008/09 and became the authority’s civic head as chair the following year,
He had a particular interest in road safety and represented NFDC on the New Forest Road Safety Council – now the Road Safety Council – for 12 years until 2019.
Les served on Netley Marsh Parish Council for more than 20 years after moving to the village.
He was also a founder member of the New Forest Rotary Club and its president in 1979-80, helping to raise a lot of money for charities.
In particular, he started the Rotary Pro-Am golf tournament at Bramshaw Golf Club where he was a member, past captain and took responsibility for running the club’s evening league over the summer months.
Son Neil added: “He wanted to treat everyone fairly and kindly.
“He wanted to get things done and he would happily put his family and the wider community before himself.”
Born in Southampton, Les lived in the Shirley area throughout his childhood. He met his future wife, Jan, when they were both teenagers holidaying at a caravan park in Weymouth.
They married when they were both aged 18 and were together for 65 years until his death.
After doing national service with the RAF, Les got a job at Kennedy’s builders merchants before being invited by Sid Kirk to join his plumbing and heating company, W.S. Kirk Ltd.
Together they ran it until Sid’s death when Les took charge until his retirement.
Les and Jan bought their first house in Holbury and had two children, Ian and Neil.
Les was a lifelong Saints fan which started when he jumped at an opportunity to help his uncle, who had a franchise selling programmes at the Dell.
Neil described how Les passed on his passion for the club when he was 11 or 12: “We spent several happy seasons in the family centre totally open to whatever the elements were throwing at us and continued as season ticket holders ever since.”
He added: “I just don’t know how dad managed to fit everything in.
“He was running a busy and successful business, an active member of the Rotary club, a parish councillor, a keen golfer.
“On top of all of this he was a wonderful dad to me and my brother, a wonderful husband to mum and a wonderful grandpa to his grandchildren.”
Les’s funeral was due to take place Friday 17th December at 11.30am at St Matthew’s Church in Netley Marsh.
Family flowers only, with donations to Rainbow Trust via the undertakers, Powell and Son in Totton.