Victor Watson dies, aged 86

One of East Keswick’s best known former residents – Victor Watson – has died at the age of 86. Victor lived at Moat Field in Moor Lane for nearly fifty years and played an active life in village affairs throughout his life, most recently as Chairman of the East Keswick Millennium Group which delivered the highly successful history book of the village.

He was best known outside the village as Chairman of John Waddington Ltd, the Leeds based games company responsible for the UK version of Monopoly (brought to Britain by his grandfather) and – their own invention – Cluedo, as well as dozens of other games. He joined Waddingtons in 1951 and retired in 1993. He famously saved the company from the clutches of Robert Maxwell.

He was also President and Chairman of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, a director of Yorkshire Television and of Leeds & Holbeck Building Society. He was awarded the CBE and became a Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire. In this function he played a vital role for the village during the Queens Diamond Jubilee Tour of 2002 when his interaction diverted the Queens route from Harewood House to Leeds, ensuring it took Her Majesty down East Keswick Main Street.

He left the village only a few years ago and kept in touch with many villagers even after leaving. Many will miss his Christmas cards which – befitting a man whose life was spent in games – carried many cryptic puzzles to solve.