Godmanchester Cambridgeshire Community Association Online

Bob Thompson

Bob Thompson 1942-2015

Robert (Bob) George Thompson was a true Godmanchester man. He was born in London in 1942 and moved to Godmanchester six weeks later.  He spent his early childhood in London Road and West Street, going to the school in St Ann’s Lane.  Leaving school at 14, Bob went to work for the farmer at Rectory Farm, Bryce Mailer, working 6 days a week all hours and learning the skills that would serve him for the rest of his life.  It was there that he first learnt to drive a tractor and for then on they became a great hobby of his — he owned one up to two years ago which he would show at steam rallies.

One day, when he was 18, he took his motorbike to Papworth Everard and met his mechanic’s 14-year-old sister, Pat Moss.  Engaged 2 years later, they were married just before her 18th birthday in St Peter’ Church, Papworth.  Years later he discovered that his great-grandparents had been buried there.  The young couple moved into Old Court Hall before renting a cottage from Bryce Mailer, who owned a whole row of cottages in Cambridge Street.  Later they bought the house where they raised their two daughters and Pat lives there to this day.

The farm was eventually sold to Redland aggregates, later Lafarge, and Bob worked for them using his land management skills up and down the country tree-planting, fence-posting and generally restoring the landscape after extraction.  He planted the first tree in the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

His two great loves were his allotment and fishing.  He produced wonderful vegetables and spent a lot of his spare time tending his plot.  Pat says that ‘when other courting couples would go to the cinema, they would go muck-spreading’. A keen and successful fisherman, he presided over the Godmanchester Children’s Fishing Competition.

Bob never missed a Sunday midday pint at the Comrades Club and was immensely proud of his town.  A lover of wildlife, the landscape, growing things, and fishing, he represented all that is typical of Godmanchester.  This quiet, gentle man, much loved by his many friends, will be greatly missed.

 

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