Robert Harvey Liddell 46B

Raised in Gateshead and joined Arborfield Army Apprentices School, gaining a Vehicle Apprenticeship and later transferred to REME – the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Served in the Suez Canal protecting British interests. Those who served were never at the time decorated for their bravery, but the Government finally announced that those who served would be awarded a medal, which my Dad finally received in January 2004.

In 1958 when he was a Sergeant he left REME and the Army and joined Reyrolles in Hebburn as a Mechanical Engineering Draughtsman and met his wife Lillian.
In 1961 he took a drop in pay for a chance to work with his beloved buses and was employed as a Technical Assistant with Newcastle Corporation. In 1963 was promoted to Rolling Stock Superintendant at Colchester Corporation. He also taught Maths and Science at the local technical college on an evening.
In 1969 moved to Barrow-in-Furness as Works Superintendant and later as Chief Engineering Assistant. He also taught Motor Mechanics at the local technical college.  
In 1972 took role of PSV Maintenance Engineer with Leeds City Transport and was responsible for the maintenance of 700 Public Service Vehicles and six operating garages. He was later promoted to Divisional Engineer where he was responsible for 250 staff.He studied and achieved a BA with the Open University. This was a feat in itself bearing in mind this was on top of working full-time and helping to raise a young family.
In 1986 he took early retirement, but after two years wanted to get back to work and was employed at the Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association (VBRA). During this time he took on additional responsibility for Industrial Relations and represented Association members at Industrial Tribunals throughout the country. He was also appointed and served for 10 years as a governor of Joseph Priestly college in Leeds.
In 1993 he retired from the VBRA and was later appointed by the Department of Employment and Department of Trade and Industry onto their Industrial Tribunal panel.
On early retirement, he started long distance walking as he approached 60 years old, he took up half marathons and raised money for church charities. He ran in Lincoln, Blackpool and did the Robin Hood Run. But by far the favourite was the Great North Run which he did five times, the last in 1997, two years after a heart bypass operation.
In 2007 he was diagnosed with dementia, it was diagnosed early and the medication he was given gave him a quality of life that so many others are denied. He didn’t suffer as so many other people do and you won’t be surprised to know that his sense of humour and love of Gateshead FC saw him through to the end.
A life long Methodist and life long fan Gateshead FC, beloved father of Diane and Jane, father-in-law to Dave and Grandad of Greg and Brandon.

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