HE was a pioneering entrepreneur and much-loved Scout leader who “made the impossible seem possible”.

Walter Hogg, who founded Southampton’s famous Blue Funnel Ferries company and led the popular 14th Eastleigh Scouts group for a decade, has died at the age of 84.

Mr Hogg, known to friends and family as Bill, was a founder member of the former Southern Tourism Board, a key member of the Southampton Chamber of Commerce and helped set up the city’s Institute of Sales and Marketing.

But much of his spare time was taken up helping hundreds of Eastleigh Scouts, setting up the Spitfires Scout band, the first Drum Majorettes and forming the Southern Counties Band Championship.

Born in Southampton in 1928, Mr Hogg went on to join the Merchant Navy and was involved in the D-Day landings during the Second World War as a gunner on a salvage boat.

He later moved to Chandler’s Ford and set up Favourite Boats at Southampton’s Royal Pier.

This would later become Blue Funnel Ferries, a fleet of pleasure boats which offered tours of the docks and surrounding rivers and waterways.

Celebrity passengers Over the years, celebrities including cricketer Fred Trueman and singer Frankie Vaughan, as well as Margaret Thatcher and the Princess Royal, were welcomed on board his boats.

Mr Hogg, who lived in Albany Court, Bishop’s Waltham, passed away peacefully having suffered for some time with heart problems.

A bugle player will sound the Last Post at his funeral while two drummers are expected to accompany his coffin, which will be brought to the service in a horse-drawn carriage.

His daughter, Della Cassidy, said: “He was always in the background and always made the impossible seem possible.

“My dad started so many things and gave so many his most valuable gift – his time.

“He was always in the back ground, always encouraging others to run with his ideas so has never really taken credit for his achievements in life, and there are so many and I would like people to know what a great man he was.”

A funeral will take place on Tuesday at 2.30pm at Wessex Vale Crematorium in Bubb Lane, West End. Ships and boats at Southampton docks are expected to sound their horns in his honour between 5pm and 6pm the same day.