Tributes have been paid to Lympstone Scout leader Mike Hales, who has passed away aged 78.

Mr Hales fought a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Born in Hammersmith, London, Mr Hales dedicated 63 years to the Scouting movement, having first joined as a cub in the 3rd Chiswick Scout Group in 1951.

When he moved to Exmouth in 1984, Mike worked at the former Sharp’s timber yard and later with Jewson’s in Fore Street, from where he retired.

However, he continued his Scouting until his illness forced him to stand down in 2014.

Mike initially worked with the 3rd Exmouth and later became treasurer and chairman of the 1st Withycombe Cub Scouts.

He was then persuaded to help relaunch the 1st Lympstone Scout Group, where he became Group Scout Leader in the early 1990s.

The troop was suspended in 2009 but came back stronger in 2011 with the addition of a Beaver Colony and Cub Pack.

His sister Sue Solomon recalled that, at the time of his links to the 18th Chiswick group, Mike and his Scouts assisted with the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley where the boys were kept busy as runners ferrying rolls of film to cameramen sitting behind the goals.

Mike had the best view in the stadium for the “They think it’s all over…” moment as England beat Germany.

A two-year trip travelling through South Africa, Rhodesia (modern day Zimbabwe and Zambia), Botswana and Mozambique, saw him working for a time with a Scout troop in Boksburg.

Said Sue: “Mike inspired hundreds of boys and girls across the country and abroad to do their best.

“His sense of fun, lifelong love of the Scouting movement and love of the outdoors, will live on in all the children who have been lucky enough to call him ’Skip’”.

Mike died on August 12th at the Old Rectory Nursing Home in Exeter and a private family cremation was held last week.

Donations to Parkinson’s UK can be made via Shoobridge Funeral Service website donations page in Mike’s name.