Robert Ernest Bridges MBE


Bob was a really kind and generous man, coaching so many people and crews at the club over the years that I had known him. He was particularly good at getting the best out of people, by using his quiet and persuading voice to explain why he wanted you to “do it again”. He also did very well at coaching people that others had written off as hopeless cases. He first started coaching me when I was about 19 years old and carried this on for many years. Later, his time with the junior section was particularly fruitfull, winning large numbers of “pots” and inspiring many of the juniours on to geater things when they moved away from Peterborough.

I remember on one occasion, Bob was coaching us in a 4 which was completing a long piece on the river. Now Bob had a sheep dog which was usually so well behaved that she ran alongside Bob whilst he cycled on the embankment using his old folding bike. On this day the wind was fierce, particularly on the top path on the bank, and Bob was struggling on the bike to keep up with us as we were more sheltered on the river. Bob fell further and further behind, but the dog was quite happy to keep running alongside  us until we completed our row, stopping near to the Whittlsea road. We stopped but off she went, and no amount of whistles or calls from us brought the dog to a halt. The last we saw of Bob was him peddaling furiously in persuit, very red in the face, and heading towards Whittlesea, where thankfully he caught up with her. I dont think he let her run alongside of us after that.

Bob will be missed by all who had met him.

Dave Truss

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