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Obituary – Bobbie Bagshaw

By Shirley Hill



Robert Bagshaw, known as Bob or Bobbie by BEC members died on Monday 7 November 2011. Membership number 20L, he was one of the original members of the BEC involved from the early days of its inception. Not known as a caver, climber or diver, he contributed a great deal to its organisation as a serving member of the committee for 23 years between 1951 and 1973, the longest serving member in the history of the BEC. He became known for his persistence in collecting sixpences at the Wagon and Horses on Redcliffe Hill (now demolished) at the regular Thursday night meet.

Jim is not sure what these were for, this was not questioned and Jim was young and foolish at the time! Perhaps somebody can enlighten him. In honour of this Bob was awarded a wooden block inset with sixpences, which I am sure will bring fond memories to his wife Coral.


Bobbie during a caving conference in France in the early 1950’s.

He received two further awards from the BEC, his silver beer tankard in 1966 from which he was regularly seen imbibing in The Hunters and at his home. In Autumn 2007 Bob was touched to be presented with “A Certificate of Honorary Life Membership”.

“On his retirement in 1973, it was reported in the Belfry Bulletin “The calm and unflustered way by which Bob produced £3,000 out of the hat in what must be record time for a club such as ours, in order to finance the building of the present Belfry must surely be the highlight of his long term of office, which started before many of the younger members of the BEC were born.”

There is at least one record of Bob caving reported in the Belfry Bulletin: After a trip down St Cuthberts, Bob wrote “After many months (or should this be years?) I was persuaded to go down Cuthberts, but if ever I am again asked my reply will either be a derisive laugh or “Not B****y Likely”.

In his report, he writes “I rather feared that I should become a liability to the party, and I knew that certain members (especially those who have not yet paid their annual subs.) would rejoice if I were left down the cave.  My weight would, of course, defy all efforts to hoist me out.  In view of this, I did not go on one of the exploration trips, but remained behind and had about two hours sleep.  I woke up rather cold but soon warmed up in the scrambling exertions of the next trip.”

He was a lifelong member of CAMRA an important aspect of which was sampling ale in the various hostelries to check standards. He enjoyed visits to various breweries, one of which was a BEC visit to Ashvine in 1993 also attended by wife Coral and many of the current vintagers.

After his stroke he was nursed by his wife Coral and was regularly seen at The Hunters on Bank Holidays or at the Vintagers’ luncheons until his condition deteriorated and he was cared for until his death in a Bristol nursing home.


I am sure all with have fond memories of him