Village stalwart ‘will be missed by so many’
Published at 07:45, Wednesday, 27 February 2013
A STALWART of the Riding Mill community has died at the age of 82.
Bob Tully, a driving force behind the recent extension and refurbishment of the village’s parish hall, was admitted to hospital following a heart attack a few days before Christmas.
Sadly, Bob, an active member of dozens of community groups, never fully recovered and died on February 11.
A keen singer who was a member of various choral groups over the years, Bob met his wife of 35 years, Brenda, at a choir practice in Newcastle.
The pair who had both been married before, each had three children, and hit it off when they discovered they shared many similar interests.
Born in Benton Square, North Tyneside, Bob lived in Forest Hall during his youth and trained as a chartered surveyor.
He worked in the construction industry for well-known firms such as Tarmac and Balfour Beatty in a career which spanned more than three decades and took him and Brenda to Wilmslow in Cheshire.
It was there that Bob was struck down with a blood disease which forced him to retire from Balfour Beatty when he was in his early fifties.
“It was shortly after that we moved to Riding Mill to be near our family,” explained Brenda (79).
“We joined all of the local groups we could to get to know people.
“And it didn’t take long before the village began to feel like home.”
A keen artist, Bob started an art group for beginners which drew a huge following – and still found time to teach Brenda.
The pair also set up a bridge club which has met regularly in the village’s Methodist church for more than 12 years.
A familiar face at St James’s in the village, Bob was a church sidesman, as well as being a former chairman of Riding Mill Choral Society, a member of the photographic society and champion bowler for four years running at the village carpet bowls club.
“I have no idea how he managed to continue to play,” said Brenda.
“His sight had deteriorated over the last three or four years and he was registered partially blind, but that was the kind of man Bob was – he wouldn’t let anything stand in his way.”
Following his death, Brenda has received over 100 cars and letters of condolence from friends and family.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the kind words from people who he has helped in one way or another over the years,” she said.
Bob’s lasting legacy to the village is the parish hall extension, for which he drew up both the plans and impressions of the completed building.
He also organised countless fund-raising events in aid of the £150,000 project, including a three-day music and flower festival in 2007 which he helped organise with Dr David Harle, and which raised over £5,000.
“Bob has become a very good friend over the last few years and it was a privilege to work alongside him to organise the flower festival and on the hall extension,” said David.
“He was a real people person who was full of energy and was motivated to make things happen by being both practical and creative.
“He will be missed by so many people.”
The funeral took place at St James’s Church yesterday.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk