Robert Francis Charles Cliff's Memorial

Robert Francis Charles Cliff
(1928 - 2008)

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General Details

Name: Robert Francis Charles Cliff
Nick Name: Bob
Gender: Male
Age: 79 years old
Lived: Monday, 18 June 1928 - Saturday, 16 February 2008

My Story

Bob Cliff – Family Eulogy

Written by Carol, read by Peter at his memorial service on 25th February 2008

Dad was a gentle-man – in every sense of the word.

And I'd like to share a few memories we have of Dad… some from our own experiences, others from different family members.

Dad was an electrical engineer as well as an inventor, and his eye for detail showed up in many ways… we used to tease him about the way he would cut his slices of cheese on toast into exactly 16 pieces; he always claimed it was so he wouldn't miss anything on the telly whilst he was eating. The time he took to eat his meals was also a standing joke; we'd all be finished long before him.

When he retired, after working for 32 years at Fort Dunlop, he was given his personnel file.  It was extremely thin; he had never been late or taken a day off sick during the whole of his employment… that's how conscientious Dad was.

Dad had a great sense of humour and fun.  And he loved a bargain; he was always on the look out for a good deal – I remember when Mom (Leila) died back in 2001, Dad, Carol & I went down to Perry Barr Crematorium to get her resting place organised.  We were shown around the garden of remembrance and told we could just have a resting place for Mom or organise Dad's at the same time.  Dad said "Is that like Asda?" when the memorial consultant looked a bit puzzled he explained…"BOGOF! Buy one get one free?"  Dad will be joining Mom there in their marble stone bench.

After Mom passed away Dad would go out for the day – using his free bus pass to travel all over the place.  He travelled the full route of the Birmingham Outer Circle route (number 11), which was one of Mom's routes when she worked on the buses back in the early 50's. He told me "I've always wanted to do that, but never had the time."  When I asked which direction he went, he said "Both! I went round one way then got off the bus, crossed the road and caught a bus going in the opposite direction."

Dad loved walking.  He and Phyllis enjoyed regular walks on Chasewaters and when they were away on holiday.  And when he visited Carol in Swanage he used to get up early and walk all round the town.  Carol reckoned he knew Swanage better than she did, even though she's lived there for 22 years!  And that's why his email was set up as bob@swanagewalker!

Although Dad loved a bargain and was extremely reluctant to spend money if he could save, he was a very generous man when it came to others.  In the late 50's, Dad took Mom back to work after lunch one day and she saw a pretty coffee service on display in one of the shops they were passing.  It was quite expensive and Mom admired it.  When he collected her that evening, she was disappointed to see it had gone.

You can imagine the look on her face when she saw it displayed on the kitchen table when they got home!  Mom always said she had to be careful about saying she liked something, because Dad would go out and buy it for her without a second thought.  Phil discovered that as well.

As I said, he hated to spend money if he could avoid it – when Dad and I used to meet up with my Uncle Derek in Shugborough, Dad always parked outside to save the £1 car parking charge, and we would walk in.  Then he'd think nothing of buying lunch for Derek and me!

As a last gesture of generosity Dad has bequeathed a good donation to the British Heart Foundation & Cancer Research – which is why we've asked for donations today instead of flowers.

We are already missing you Dad, but are glad you are no longer suffering after your stroke. 

Rest in Peace!

The Funeral Director also wrote a eulogy which was read out at the service and which told a little of Bob's life.  Here it is...

===========================

Bob was born in London in 1928, to parents Frank and Evelyn.

The family completed with the birth of Bob's younger brother Derek.

The family left London, setting up home at Cawdrey buildings in Leek in Staffordshire, where Bob's father ran a draper's shop.

Bob had a love of animals and after leaving school dreamt of being a vet, however he was called to active service and began his training with the RAF as part of the ground crew fixing the various aircraft.

He never flew any of the aircraft he maintained but due to his constant requests he did get to go up in a lightening.

After his service he returned back to his parents home in Leek and began working at Pirelli based in Stoke on Trent.

He then moved to Birmingham, training as an electrical engineer at Lucas's continuing to commute between Leek and Birmingham on a motorbike & sidecar.
 
On a night out at the Odeon in New Street, Birmingham Bob began chatting to two young ladies in the queue; Leila and her sister, Myra. Leila told her sister she shouldn't talk to strangers.
   
Bob and Leila became inseparable and married in June 1956. Leila working as a clippy on the buses whilst Bob transferred from Lucas's to Fort Dunlop.

Bob worked hard, his job meaning long hours on various shifts and a lot of overtime, but he provided for his family and gave them the best he could, not only to Leila but to his two children Carol & Peter.

As a family they enjoyed holidays in Saundersfoot and days out together, particularly at Trentham Gardens.

Bob enjoyed various sports including Formula 1 and wrestling, he also enjoyed collecting things such as the miniature Tetley Tea Folk.

He was very clever with his hands and enjoyed tinkering with things, even inventing various devices.

Most of all, Bob had a love of walking and would walk many miles.

After 32 years working at Dunlops Bob retired in 1993 returning home with the orange he took to work on his first day, which he'd retrieved from his locker.

He had an active retirement visiting various social clubs and enjoying days out with fellow retired work colleagues as a member of the Dunlop retirement club.

Sadly, Leila passed away in 2001. Bob found this very hard. He continued his love of walking, getting onto buses travelling to various parts of Birmingham then getting off to walk around.

Peter asked him one day where he had been. Bob told him he had ridden the outer circle route. "Which way?" asked Peter, "Both ways!" was the reply!

In fact as a visitor to Carol's home he earned the nickname "The Swanage Walker", not a single road exists in Swanage that Bob hasn't walked through.

Bob's life was however about to change.

On a coach holiday to Torquay in April 2003 somebody playing match maker asked Bob if he would keep company with a lady travelling alone.

This of course was Phyllis.

In her own words "Bob travelled to Torquay on his own, but he didn't return alone."

The only difficulty was that Bob was still living in Birmingham whilst Phyllis lived in Heath Hayes.

Bob began to visit on Wednesday afternoons and they would attend the Tea Dance held at the Cons.

The visits became more frequent, Bob staying over odd nights, then odd weekends then every weekend.

The problem was that Bob was a worrier. He would worry about anything. In fact Bob would worry that there was nothing to worry about!

Pete would visit his father and be told that he was worried about the garden being left due to him being at Phyllis's home.

Both Carol and Peter tried to encourage him to just sell up and move to Heath Hayes but of course Bob wouldn't.

Then in July 2006 Bob suffered a stroke which in turn led to various health problems one of which was bouts of depression.

Carol and Peter continued to try to get Bob to move to Heath Hayes and finally in October 2007 they succeeded.

At last everything seemed perfect. Bob and Phyllis were together, Bob loved Heath Hayes and was very popular with the neighbours.

A 4 minute walk to the shop became a half hour journey stopping to talk to everyone.

Of course he now had an extended family with Phyllis's children, Gayle and the twins Andrew and Glen.

He also became granddad to 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren, especially 5 year old Jake who became Bob's special mate always wanting to sit beside him, proudly telling everyone that this was his special mate 'Bob the Builder'.

So how do you sum up Bob?

He was a private man,

A gentleman and a gentle man.

He combined a wicked sense of humour with a great sense of fun.

Your attendance today shows the great feeling of respect you held for a special man.

Bob, may you rest in peace.



Latest Tributes

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Remembering you on your birthday Dad and wishing you were here. Knowing how much you loved dogs, you would have en...
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18 June - such a special day celebrating both your and Grandad's birthday. I miss you both and look back with loving ...
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I love you Dad with all my heart And hate that we should be apart Our love is a bond that can’t be broken You may ...
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16/02/12 Its been 4 years since you went away but you are missed every day the things you did, the things you wo...
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It's lonely here without you, We miss you more each day, For life is not the same to us, Since you were called awa...
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Remembering you on your birthday Dad - 18th June, and of course Father's Day tomorrow. You loved animals and I'm s...
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It's hard to believe that 3 years have passed since you were taken from us. You are sorely missed and I think fond...
Heart Memorial Tribute
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Dad, on Father's Day I wish I could give you the gift of life, as you gave me all those years ago when you first beca...
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Thinking of you and missing you on your birthday, Dad... "You never failed to do your best - Your heart was true ...
Memory Memorial Tribute
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You told me that when I was two and you rode a motor cycle and sidecar, I always bounced and said "go faster daddy, g...
Candle Memorial Tribute
From: twink
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Dad i miss you everyday, the things you would do,the things you would say, Im so sad you passed away, But Happy Me...
Candle Memorial Tribute
From: CarolAEB
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Your 2 Year Anniversary - 16th Feb ============================= Dad had a nature you could not help loving, A...

Biography

Fathers Name: Francis
Mothers Name: Evelyn
Spouse's Name: Leila
Children's Names: Carol, Peter
Siblings Names: Derek
Country of Birth: United Kingdom
Country of Residence: United Kingdom
City of Residence: Cannock
Occupation: Engineering
Marital Status: Widowed

Interests

Passing

Place of Passing: Heath Hayes, Cannock
Date of Passing: 16 February 2008
Cause of Passing: Stroke
Type of Funeral: Cremation
Place of Burial: Perry Barr Crematorium
Funeral Director: Anthony Halliwell
Funeral Location: Stafford
Funeral Date: 25 February 2008
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