Robert Ernest Bridges MBE


I can’t thank you all enough for your brilliant messages they trigger so many precious memories. Please do keep them coming.

I loved your message Julian it reminded me of Dad announcing some time ago ‘now that I am in my eigthyth year of life, I have to accept there may not be that many more years, so I mustn’t waste time and am only going to do things I want to do’.  

Dad was on the whole good at avoiding doing things he really didn’t want to do.  There are many family jokes about his skills in avoiding DIY especially decorating.  On one occasion somewhere around the mid 70’s whilst pedalling on that fold up bike beside a crew along the river he had an accident.  Now the exact details of it are a bit of a mystery if anyone knows do please let me know. It may or may not have involved an emergency stop to avoid hitting a cow. The chain came off the bike and the pedal smacked into his knee.  At around the same time he was doing the last bit of decorating he ever did at home.  Somehow he managed to convince Mum that his knee problem was caused by going up and down ladders. The mysterious intermittent knee problem remained and was diagnosed as ‘decorators knee’. It prevented him no doubt on his twisting of advice from Dr Chinn from doing all sorts of things he didn’t want to do especially DIY or gardening but riding his bike alongside crews and playing golf were claimed to be good for sufferers of decorators knee. Whiskey was naturally considered beneficial too.

He spent a lot of time cycling along river banks with a border collie beside him. The one you mentioned Dave was called Kilda and like her master once she had set her mind on something she wasn’t easy to stop! Her predecessor Jane also ran alongside Dad on his bike. She loved Regattas, running beside the bike as Dad followed his crews down the course. Whenever he did his very loud distinctive “C’mon Peterborrrough” she would join in barking as loudly as possible. 

I have enlarged and cut the attached photo of Dad. He was stood on the end of a long row of people at a regatta prize giving. Eating a sneaky white whippy ice cream! Needless to say it was a photo I was banned from showing Mum and you can see I was getting the firm ‘don’t tell your mother’ look! I think it goes well with your bacon butty and pimms picture John. 


Helen Curtis-Bridges

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