Ivor Noot EPOC: 1940 - 2008

"When Nick Barrable took over as editor of CompassSport he introduced the series "Know your class leader" and chose Ivor Noot, then heading M65L, as his first candidate [CompassSport, Feb 2006, 27 (1)]. Ivor did not just stand out among his peers, he stood out beyond his generation and was known, respected and loved by so many who knew him. Nick was not to know that Ivor probably already had the cancer that he was to fight so bravely for three years that made 2005 the zenith of his orienteering career. Ivor fought this threat to his enjoyment of living with the same determination and enthusiasm that so characterised his life. After the debilitating chemotherapy and stem cell implant he fought his way back to fitness and seemed to be winning the battle. In November last year he ran the long course at the November Classic and came 3rd, only 12s behind me and less the 3 min behind the winner; Ivor told me he was 'walking on air'. Four days later we travelled to Dick Amour's funeral together. Ivor was very disappointed for Dick's sake that he had never won the British Championships, though he did win the JK three times. We discussed the philosophy of our fragile mortality and agreed that, without being foolhardy, fear of death should not prevent us enjoying life to the full while we had it. He certainly put this into effect for in the Spring of this year he and Paulette went for a week's orienteering in Portugal and thoroughly enjoyed the climate and conditions there with a view to returning for the World Masters later in the year. It was after this trip that his multiple myeloma returned and he was hit with leukemia as well.
Ivor certainly made his mark at the top of British orienteering for over 15 years; I looked up Ivor's history of successes to report here and then found he had modestly done the job for me in the interview referred to in CompassSport. Dig out your old copy (February 2006) and read again Ivor's comments on life and advice on how to succeed, it is almost like him talking to us from the other side. But the man was greater than all his achievements and, while we shall miss him, we shall treasure our memories of him; our lives have been enriched by his acquaintance. His wife, Paulette, and family, Reuben, Sarah and Rebekah have our deepest sympathy in their loss, a sympathy shown by the 300 or so who turned out for the memorial meet at Ogden (Ivor's favorite training area) in May.
One undying memory I have of Ivor is his bursting into the finish field at the end of a big race and tearing to the line like a sprint champion. He put his all into everything he did. What a man!"

Compiled here are some extracts from tributes from his funeral. Two weeks after the funeral there was a gathering at Ogden Water, his favourite training ground, in memory of him. A walk to a special heathery Knoll, a short speech and a terrain run, walk, O course and string trail were put on, followed by food at the Noot House. About 300 people were there to celebrate his life.

‘Ivor was born at the end of 1940 in Southampton. His mum was the late Vi and his dad is Nooty, now 96. Ivor, his brother Pete and sister Gill were brought up a close and happy family. He went to Grammar School with Tim Pugh GO and it was there, as well as being a real swot (he was not allowed to be disturbed in the playroom) he was involved in many activities such as the local scouts, a bugle playing cadet and the milk man’s faithful helper.

Ivor went to University in Leeds (along with Gareth Bryan-Jones FVO & current British M65 Champion, Pete Kullick HALO, John Helliwell SYO and Peter Preston NOC) to study French and Latin. He lived in Brittany working as a teaching assistant and beer delivery man for a couple of years before taking up his career as a French teacher. Ivor loved France and all things French.

He loved music, and it was whilst he was playing and singing with some of his student mates that his wife Paulette first met him. 10 months later they were married. Their relationship has lasted the rest of their lives.  They were young and determined to resign from their teaching posts and travel around Europe in an old Bedford van. The van was constantly breaking down and Paulette remembers making carburettor gaskets from porridge boxes.  Fortunately, there was never a lack of them. Ivor ate porridge every morning of his life - it was quite simply an essential.

Upon returning from their travels, they settled down in Rastrick and in 1969 they moved to 111 Wheatley Road, Halifax in East Pennine OC terrain (joining EPOC in about 1980), where they have lived ever since.

In 1970, 72 and 75 respectively, Reuben, Sarah and Rebekah were born.

Ivor was an excellent teacher and a well respected colleague who taught throughout his career, spending many years at Whitcliffe Mount School in Cleckheaton. His great passion was, of course, Orienteering. Ivor was very fit and always ran but when he discovered orienteering, the whole family became addicted and they spent most weekends travelling around the country to take part.’

Ivor on Day 1 of the Scottish 6 days last Summer, 2007 by Mark Cheesman