It’s with much sadness that I have to inform the club members who remember Bob that he’s passed away, after a short illness but (fotunately?) this was preceeded by the onset of Alzhiemers.
Bob will be cremated in his DOCGB club T shirt the old style one with the 900SS Bevel on it and his club membership card will also be in the coffin.
Bob was a fantastic friend, the Best Man at my wedding wearing his club T shirt ( we both turned up on 851/888’s) a real caracter who was always popular at the club Rallies etc, he won best bike or farthest travelled many times with his 950cc NCR Rep Bevel, he also owned one of the 1st 916’s, 916SP, 916SPS and a rather nice 851/888 fitted with 888SP(4)S pistons/barrels, tweaked 748 heads, AP Lockheed adjustable ratio master cylinder and full carbon fairing…
Hot stuff in the 851/888 World!!!
Nothing was too much trouble for Bob if he saw you as a friend in need often at his own expense, he would always go the extra mile to help out a fellow enthusiast, he led a “Colourfull” life but was very modest about what he’d done in his past.
I knew him for around 17 years and never ever heard someone say a bad word about him, or Bob say a bad word about anyone else, in coversation with a fellow mate Swampy Marsh today he described him as “A very kind man”.
A very clever self taught engineer who made his own dry clutch conversion for his Bevel special (using parts mostly from a 916) and race exhaust system, friends would say…
“If you were stranded on a desert island you’d want to be stranded with Bob as he could (in the A Team style) build you a motorboat out of baked bean cans and bamboo poles”.
Bob attended the WDW 1998 and 2000, the 24 Hour Le Mans races he was even then in his 60’s at least but was a “Starman” to all who met him, possibly one of the coolest people I’ve ever had the good fortune to call a friend…
RIP Bob the World is a poorer place for your passing mate, tonight I’ll raise a jar to you and along with Sue and Swampy will be at the funeral.
Well Bob’s funeral went off very well, not only was he interned in his Ducati shirt along with his club membership card, but the coffin was adorned with photo’s of him having a good time and his 950 NCR rep’, the floral tribute was in the shape of his Bevel with DUCATI on it as well.
His 2 youngest daughters* showed me some photo’s and I was able to tell them when and where they’d been taken and also name the owners of the other Ducati’s/bikes in the pic’s.
One of them saw Bob alongside Steve Wynne and “The Hailwood TT winning bike” taken in the pit lane at Misano at the WDW in 1998.
Swampy and I were pall bearers along with Bob’s sons, I was wearing a shirt printed for me by Bob that has a pic’ of a '75 900SS Bevel with the words under it…
“The Most Exciting Bike ever Built” and Swampy wore a Benelli shirt also printed for him by Bob.
The sun shone all day and after the funeral we went to Bob’s last local and shared memories of Bob along with nibbles and booze…
Bob would have liked to have been there himself, we sent him off in style.
*When the girls read out their eulogy to their Father the club was mentioned along with the good times Bob had at the club rallies etc, myself and Swampy felt honoured to be mentioned in this, our mate Martin Harris (another club rally goer and former club member with a collection of Ducati’s) was also mentioned, but unfortunately he couldn’t attend as he’s in hospital undergoing a 2nd round of cancer treatment.
I’m on the case (I’ve been to see their Mother today) and I’m waiting for the girls to send me one or two jpegs that I’ll forward onto to you.
Thanks for your thoughts/good wishes, Bob attended several of the Merlin’s along with quite a few DOCGB Northern, Southern* and V-Twin Rallies, I’m 100% sure that you and Tracy would have met him over the years.
*He was well known to Dave + Tanya Chamber’s who ran the Northern, Dave Barback, Dave Scholler who ran the Southern (and attended Chris Carlton’s later efforts) and Tony/Paul who ran the Merlin, also providing prizes (Bob’s Fashions) at most of these Rallies.