Safety champion leaves a lasting legacy

Keith Lorrimer when he became president of Mirfield Probus Club in 2007
Keith Lorrimer when he became president of Mirfield Probus Club in 2007

Tributes have been paid to a man who taught generations of school children to stay safe.

As a road safety officer and first aid trainer, Keith Lorrimer was one of the most recognisable faces in the district, and leaves a lasting legacy.

Not only did he teach thousands of children to stay safe on their bicycles and on the roads, but the first aid skills he passed on will have saved many lives.

Mr Lorrimer, who passed away after a short illness on February 11, was born in Birkenshaw and after serving three years with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, joined Dewsbury Borough Police as a beat officer when he was 21.

He soon moved into the road traffic division for four years before taking on road safety duties, and he’d often find himself administering life-saving first aid at the scene of accidents.

He later became a police sergeant at Heckmondwike and also in Fartown, Huddersfield.

Mr Lorrimer, 78, married his wife Nancy in 1967, and the couple first lived at Halifax Road, Dewsbury, before moving to Mirfield.

The couple had two children, Stephen, who lives at Garforth and Sue, of Gomersal. They had three grandchildren and Mr Lorrimer also had two children from a previous marriage.

After leaving the police force when he was 50 in 1985, he worked for the St John Ambulance, for which he had volunteered since he was 18.

He trained countless numbers of people at church and community groups, schools and workplaces across West and South Yorkshire.

Mrs Lorrimer said: “Generations of children were taught first aid or road safety by Sgt Lorrimer, and people would often recognise him when we were out and about.

“Even when he went into hospital two of the nurses recognised him as having taught them their cycling proficiency.

“He was due to retire when he was 65, but carried on teaching until he was 70, because he loved teaching the young ones.”

Mr Lorrimer was a member and past president of Mirfield Probus Club, a member of the St John Fellowship and had been awarded the Oakleaf award for 50 years’ membership.

He was an officer of the order of St John of Jerusalem.

Fellow police colleagues and friends from all over the county attended a packed-out service at Dewsbury Crematorium last month.

Mrs Lorrimer, of Crowther Road, said: “He was one in a million. Although he had a lot of outside activities he was always there for us.

“He was a wonderful husband, dad and worshipped his grandchildren.”