Robert Beadle (14 Jul 1938 - 14 Oct 2020)

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Brockholes Methodist Church Oakes Lane Brockholes, Holmfirth HD9 7AR
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Radcliffe Funeral Service, Honley

In loving memory of Robert Beadle who sadly passed away on 14th October 2020

Ian Beadle wrote

Corrections to previous message.

Robert started his two year period of National Service in June 1957 not June 1967.

In October 2012 (not 2017) he had an operation on the left side of his neck to remove two lumps of low grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and, again in May 2019.


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Ian Beadle wrote

The following are Robert's words...

Robert Banks Beadle

Robert was born to Banks Beadle (a small tenant farmer of Burton Constable Estates) and Ivy Ollie Rosling on 14th July, 1938 (Bastille Day!) at Park Farm, Sproatley north-east of Hull, the eldest of four children. His father was the fourth of nine and his mother the youngest of eight – he had plenty of cousins! His Granny Beadle was the only child whose parent’s spouses had died and they re-married – she had fifteen older half-brothers/sisters.

When he was born there was no electricity in the house and no gas in the village – there was an outside earth toilet. There followed Gilbert Edwin, Frances Audrey and Stuart Charles. They all went to Sproatley Methodist Church Sunday School where his father was a Trustee and Steward and his mother Organist and Poor (Communion) Steward. His middle name, Banks, was his great-grandmother Beadle’s maiden name. Edwin now lives at Higher Kinnerton southwest of Chester, Frances lives in Garden Village in East Hull and Stuart lives at Haveringland north of Norwich.

His grandfather was James Beadle, his uncle Herbert Beadle (one of his father’s brothers), another uncle James (Jim) Collinson (married to one of his mother’s sisters) and married niece, Lynne Cleland, were, or are, Methodist Local Preachers. Other members of this large family (on both sides) often held positions in their local Methodist Church.

All the children attended Sproatley Endowed School. From there he passed the 11+ and went to Malet Lambert High School in East Hull, the other side of East Park. After 5 years he left at 16 with GCE ‘O’ Level passes in English Language, Geography and Mathematics (later in Biology and Book-keeping).

He then joined a firm of Chartered Accountants, Hodgson, Harris & Co., of Parliament Street, Hull as an office junior – their Head Office was in Hull and they were the largest firm of Accountants outside London with numerous branches in the UK. A year later he became a junior audit clerk and finally a semi-senior audit clerk. He enjoyed his time there and, besides various places in Hull, went to Thornaby-on-Tees (twice), a flourmill near Selby, and London.

A month short of his 19th birthday (June 1967), his two year period of National Service started and was spent ‘square bashing’ and training at Aldershot for 4 months. He had learnt two-finger typing at work and went on to learn touch-typing there. The remaining 20 months were at Fontainebleau on the River Seine about 40 miles south of Paris – even though he had failed French abysmally at school!

Never been abroad before, how he got there from Aldershot all alone on a Travel Warrant used to amaze him. He was a member of the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) and came out a Corporal with enough money saved to buy a Lambretta scooter. He has not been back to France since!

The British Army, corporals and below, had their own barracks in the town. The offices were an International HQ (Allied Land Forces Central Europe – ALFCE) in one of Napoleon’s palaces. While in the forces, besides going to Paris occasionally, he went with army friends to the world Fair in Brussels and also down the Rhine in Germany. His first passport was issued by the British Embassy in Paris! Whilst in the army at Fontainebleau he played football and hockey. After National Service for some time he played football and second team cricket for Humbleton, a village near Sproatley. He was also the MC for the Whist Drive at their annual Whist Drive and Draw.

Not qualified, he left the Chartered Accountants in 1961. On 1st September, 1961 he joined William Evans & Co (Humber) Ltd, Timber Importers & Merchants of Saltend, east of Hull, as a book-keeper – part of the Williams Evans Group whose Head Office was in Widnes. On the Secretary’s death in January 1967, shortly before his retirement, he was appointed Secretary/Accountant of the Company and also of Corner & Brown Ltd., Timber Importers & Merchants of Whitby.

After some time he was also made Regional Accountant for G. E. Ramsey Ltd., Timber Merchants of Shipley; Charles Black & Sons Ltd., Timber Merchants of Sheffield; F. E. Chapman & Co. Ltd., Timber Importers & Merchants of Kings Lynn (which later became Southerns-Evans (Northampton) Ltd.,); and Southerns-Evans (Darlington) Ltd., the holding company became Southerns-Evans Ltd., still based in Widnes. Later the company became Magnet & Southerns Ltd.

In the first half of 1984 the family moved from Bilton to Ridings Fields, Brockholes on Robert’s appointment as Company Secretary/Accountant of Jarratt Pyrah & Armitage Ltd. Timber Merchants of Huddersfield – still part of the Southerns-Evans Group. Robert had not been looking for a move but the Secretary of JPA was leaving, has was offered and accepted, the post which included the position of Accountant at Watson & Co. (Wallboards ) Ltd. Timber Merchants of Bradford. The family comprised of Robert, his wife Jean, their three sons, Jean’s widowed mother and a dog – Patch (which is one of the reasons why Ridings Fields was chosen as it backs onto woods).

Later, Harrison & Crossfield Ltd. bought the timber merchants side of Magnet & Southerns Ltd., and made them all branches and put them into various regions of Harcros. Robert became Internal Auditor for the Eastern Region (HQ – Grimsby) covering an area from Gateshead to Norwich and inland to the Pennines. Later he became the Quality Assurance Manager for the same region.

On leaving Harcros Eastern Region at the end of 1995, he joined a brand new company Timber Specialists (Huddersfield) Ltd., as Company Secretary/Accountant and also later the same position in 1998 at another brand new company, Timber Specialists (Sheffield) Ltd. He took early retirement in July 2000 following Jean’s death in May 1998 – he was just 62.

At Sproatley he became Trustee’s Secretary, Chapel Steward and Treasurer. At the Hull (East) Methodist Circuit, besides a member, he joined the Circuit Finance Committee – they met annually to recommend the yearly Assessments. He also helped his father to run the Methodist Youth Club which met in Sproatley Memorial Institute. Following his father’s death, while still living in Bilton, he continued to run the Youth Club for some time with help.

Also at Sproatley he was the Repair Fund Treasurer at the Memorial Institute (Village Hall) and later the Secretary and Treasurer, particularly helping to organise the monthly Whist Drives. He also helped to paint the outside of the chapel and the inside of the small room at the Memorial Institute.

He was the Clerk to the Sproatley Parish Council at the princely sum of £5 per annum – getting raked over the coals by a partner at the Chartered Accountants – his mother was already a member of the Council. On 10th July 1963 he passed his car driving test. He could already drive a scooter. He was a blood donor from 1964 to 1969 – A RH Positive.

He was elected an independent member for Sproatley on the Holderness Rural District Council from 1964 to 1974, which met at Skirlaugh north east of Hull. This covered an area of Holderness, east of Hull, from Atwick down to Spurn Point. He was its last Finance Committee Chairman.

From 1974 to 1984 he was elected independent member for the Bilton Ward on the new Holderness Borough Council, which covered the same Holderness area but now included Hedon, Hornsea and Withernsea. He was the Finance Committee Chairman for 3 years, Staff & Establishment Committee Chairman for 3 years, Deputy Mayor of the Council 1980/1 and Mayor in 1981/2 (and his wife was Deputy Mayoress and Mayoress). On 7th July his civic service was held at Sproatley Methodist Church and afternoon tea later at Sproatley Memorial Institute. In 1981 he, and his wife, were at the formal opening of the Humber Bridge by the Queen. Later that afternoon the Queen and Prince Philip came to the BP Chemical Works at Saltend, which is in the Holderness area. They had also been twice to the Royal Gardens parties at Buckingham Palace in London.

He met Jean Margaret Talks at the Harvest Barn Dance organised by the Sproatley Anglican Church in the Memorial Institute where she was the MC. She was the only child of Alfred Tawlks and Annie Spink of Brindley Street, Holderness Road, Hull opposite East Park and a Primary School Teacher at Bellfield School, Holderness High Road, Hull. She also taught Folk Dancing at an evening class at Aldbrough which is a village on the coast north east of Hull.

They were married on 10th August, 1968 at Kingston Wesley Methodist Church, Holderness High Road, Hull and began married life in Bilton. The first week of the honeymoon was at Jerry & Ben’s, Hebden near Grassington, the second was spent touring Scotland. This was why they visited Hebden Methodist Chapel usually on the second Sunday every August. They had three sons – Christopher Banks, and twins Ian James and Andrew Paul. She was an independent member of the East Riding County Council for a couple of years and turned down the chance to be a JP.

They were founder members of the Holderness Folk Dance Club which met initially in Bilton Primary School and later in Coniston Village Hall. The family were also founder members of the South Holderness Swimming Club, Preston – all three boys swam for the Club – Robert could never swim. He was its first Treasurer, Gala Secretary and, later a time-keeper after passing the necessary exams.

When the family moved to Brockholes in 1984 they all joined the Methodist Church in the village. Jean’s and her mother’s funeral services were held in the Chapel – there in a plaque to each of them on the outside vestry wall of the Church. He was a Chapel Steward for a few years, later a Door steward and Letting Steward. He organised, from 1992, the Lenten Cross readers, etc. in the run-up to Easter each year – details of which he had seen in the Methodist Recorder. He was the Circuit Finance Steward for the Holmfirth Methodist Circuit 1992-2004, which also meant attending Synods and other meetings throughout the West Yorkshire Methodist District.

Jean and he joined the Stocksmoor Folk Dance Club late in 1984 which they attended from September to Easter. Jean was also the relief Dance teacher there. He went until October 2012. They liked going to Barn Dances in the area as well as Brass Band Concerts and Male Voice Choir Concerts.

While never a runner, he was ‘volunteered’ in 1985 by his eldest son to be one of the Holmfirth Harriers Athletics Club’s (HHAC) timekeepers and went on to time-keep until April 2004. He attended HHAC events, Huddersfield & District Cross Country, West Yorkshire Cross Country and Yorkshire Cross Country meetings, later becoming an Honorary Member of HHAC.

He was a member of the Brockholes Village Trust Committee for some years and its Treasurer 1986-1997. Although not a gardening ‘spiv’ he rented an Allotment in the village from 1986 until 2001 when they closed – the garden at home was small, not very good and sloped! He grew soft fruit, vegetables and flowers. He also liked making all sorts of jam. There used to be a crab apple tree at home from which many a jar was made.

Over the years, Jean and the family, had holidays in Whitby, Filey, Hebden, Airton, Kettlewell, Settle, Booze, Langthwaite, Bardon Mill, Low Hauxley, Boulmer, Norwick (Shetland), Cyprus (twice), Iceland and Tollesbury (Essex). Robert flew to Canada for 10 days, shortly after Jean died, travelling from Vancouver to Toronto by bus and train.

Following Jean’s death in May 1998 he became the Brockholes Methodist Church person responsible for banking the collections, rents etc. He also looked after the bookshop and was the Letting Steward.
He was the ‘best’ man at Christopher’s wedding to Tracy Ann Collins in April 2000 at Brockholes Methodist Church. They had two daughters – Ruby Eliza in June 2002 and Phoebe Beatrice in January 2005 – they both stayed overnight occasionally. He collected them from school sometimes and they had tea with Robert from time to time.

He liked walking, either alone or with friends, particularly Wensleydale. Other places were not out of bounds – Swaledale, Spurn Point, Nidderdale, Dovedale, Malhamdale, Castleton, Arkengarthdale, Ladybower, Wharfdale, Bretton Park, etc. as well as locally. Several times he took a carload of friends all day for a ride in the Dales, usually having lunch at Aysgarth.

After retirement he took up Family History, which had been dormant for some years. He was well known at the Huddersfield Library but also visited the Church of Latter Day Saints Centre in Birkby. He also went to Lincoln Library, East Riding Archives in Beverley and most of the churchyards in Holderness, (where his father’s family came from) and southern Lincolnshire (where his mother’s and also his wife’s family had roots there).

From August 2000 he supported one young child through World Vision, later becoming two. Currently the children are a girl from the Nawabganji area of Bangladesh and another girl living in the Sirba area of Niger.

He went on the monthly Circuit Leisure Walks, etc. from August 2000 and became, in 2003, responsible for the Brockholes walk and speaker. Sometimes he went to the ‘recce’ for the August away day.

In August 2000 he joined the Brockholes Methodist Church’s monthly Afternoon Fellowship until it closed in 2011. From September 2000 he regularly went to the monthly lunches at Scholes Methodist Church usually taking some others. Till September 2012, he occasionally went to the Scholes Methodist Church Men’s Club.

In September 2000 he joined the Brockholes Methodist Church’s Soup ‘n’ Roll team which meets every other Wednesday in the Chapel Parlour. Initially fetching and returning two children from Brockholes Primary School, being the tea boy and lately doing the washing up.

He edited the Brockholes Methodist Church’ monthly newsletter from December 2000, took it to the printers, collected it and them put it together before someone else put the names on. In 2001 he became the Pastoral visitor for Brockholes Methodist Church and delivered the newsletters in Brockholes Lane and the Ridings.

He was the auditor for Wooldale Methodist Church from 2001.

He was one of two independent non-elected members of Kirklees Metropolitan Council’s Standards Committee from November 2001 to April 2007 – he couldn’t stand party politics although he voted at every opportunity. He joined the Churches Together Committee in November 2004 – May 2019 which usually met three times a year. At first the meetings were at St. George’s in the evenings but latterly in the afternoon in the Chapel Parlour after Soup ‘n’ Roll has been cleared away.

He went to the weekly Bible Study’s organised by a member of the Brockholes Methodist Church – sometimes in a person’s home or latterly in the Chapel Parlour.

Only having about a couple of weeks off during all his working life he had a stroke in April 2004 at Hade Edge Chapel. He spent some time in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and later at St Luke’s, Blackmoorfoot. This affected his right and side but a year later was allowed to drive, having gone to Leeds for theoretical and practical tests. He returned home to look after himself but gardening was difficult, especially cutting the grass.

He had a cataract operation in October 2015 on his right eye then his left eye January 2016 – back driving March 2016.

In October 2017 he had an operation on the left side of his neck to remove two lumps of low grade

As you can see, Robert had a full and busy life centred round the Methodist Church.

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