Britain’s oldest Scout leader has been honoured by the Queen – after spending nearly seven decades in the role.
Inspirational Ray Aldous, 85, has been the leading member of the scouts for 75 years and joined just as the Second World War was coming to an end.
He joined the scouts at the age of 11 and first became a scout leader at the age of 18.
But despite suffering from a ‘nasty knock’ ten years ago, he refuses to give up the hobby and actively volunteers for his local scout group.
He joined the Luton Scouts in 1943 after his father, who was a war veteran and scout member pushed him to be a part of the group.
Ray, of Luton, Beds., said: “We lived a mile away from the scout troop but it was a bit difficult with the blackouts and i was only a little lad at the time.
“It was my fathers idea that I joined the movement because he was in a scout when he was in the war.
Ray was aged 11 when he joined the scouts and has been a member ever since.
Grandfather to two twins, Ray said: “I was in the scouts from a young age, it was difficult time then.
“We ended the war and we were trying to do things to keep ourselves occupied.
“And in those days the scouts were the two major user activities, the other was the girl guides.
After over 70 years in the movement, Ray is still very much involved in the association as he holds weekly media meetings at his home and visits Groups around Luton to talk about his exploits.
Ray said: “In 1965 I started I was the media manager as the ADC (Assistant District Commissioner) and then was appointed ADC public relations in 1974.
“I was on the BBC radio three counties every week and I would give a live report on the Sunday morning slot between 6am- 9am.”
The Queen has recognised Rays talents and awarded him with a MBE.
Ray said: “This was the ultimate highlight for me.
“When I was notified by Buckingham Palace and received the MBE for my services of the scout movement.
“This was such an unexpected honour to be singled out for such world-wide publicity. I am immensely proud of my MBE.”
Ray, a retired technician, worked all his life and devoted his free time to working with the Scouts.
Ray said: “You have got to be active, you have to be seen to do things and because of this I have achieved an awful lot in my time, I have definitely been around.
“I was very fortunate the Queen actually presented my award to me. That was the highlight of my scouting without a doubt.
“I went down to Buckingham Palace with my two daughters and we went to receive the award.”
And Ray doesn’t plan on finishing with the scouts any time soon.
Ray said: “It keeps me as fit and as healthy.
“I still keep active and I am still pretty much involved with the town.
“It is absolutely amazing.”
Widower Ray, who was married for 57 years, scouted with along with his wife Sylvia for many years.
Ray said: “I thoroughly enjoyed it, I was charging around all over the place and my wife supported me.
“My wife was a member of the scouts as well came in as a group helper of the group committee, which was absolutely wonderful.
“She helped me do what I had to do. I had to look after 12 districts and I was responsible for the scout troupes which meant I had to rush around and present awards.
“She would help at base while I was out.”
Peter Sutherst, of Luton Scouts said: “He’s a great guy and a great ambassador for Luton Scouts.”