Rhubarb 2019

ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b


1956-1961). Brother of John (D, 1955-1959), father of Thomas (D, 1986-1991). These words are taken from the tribute given by Michael Heybrook (G, 1957- 1961) at Robert’s funeral: (‘Jerusalem’ had just been sung) Parry’s music and Blake’s words were meat and drink to Rob. It was an end of term ritual in Chapel. On our last day at Teddies we sang our final Jerusalem with Pete Whitehouse pulling out all the stops on the organ and the whole school nearly bringing the roof down. There never was a moment like that again for us, as we poured out our voices in united joy. Almost from day one Rob and I were thrown together at boarding school and we were in the same class until A Levels; he was a linguist, I was a historian. He was really talented at French, German and Spanish. Throughout life, with his good ear and sharp wit, he got hold of the patois in any language straight away. He left me for dead in sporting prowess, be it athletics, hockey, squash, tennis and especially cricket, in all of which he represented the School. With his laughing eyes and great gangly reach, eight stone and 6ft 1”, he could dot anyone on the nose, the eye and the chin in the boxing ring, stinging like a bee and dancing like a butterfly. I’m sure he was never defeated as Captain of Boxing! Rob also had the huge gratification of scoring a century for the first Xl, his achievement announced by the Warden in the dining hall to tumultuous applause. He rose to be Head of School, mainly because he made the Warden, who lunched in Hall with the Senior Prefects, laugh all the time with his quick puns and repartee. Amazingly we both got places at Oxford, he at the very liberal St Catherine’s College under Alan Bullock, myself at the ultraconservative Christ Church.

Before we started Rob got a job in the Kurhaus, Baden­ Baden, and I was at a language school in Lausanne. I hitched up to spend an evening with him. He was very surprised to see me turn up unannounced at a thé dansant in the gilded dining room, as he dished out cream cakes to fat ladies! At Oxford, he soon had loads of mates, but I was like a fish out of water, until we both shared digs together in our final year. In one vac, he came to stay in Amsterdam and wanted to visit a friend of his mother’s, who looked after Queen Juliana’s standard poodles. She asked us to take them for a walk, and a stranger said: ‘What are you doing with the Queen’s dogs?’ ‘Wij zijn haar hondelopers’, he replied, quick as a flash. After graduating he got a job as a management trainee for Courtaulds. After a course in Hanover Square he was packed off to Spondon in Derby to learn about Courtaulds steel cords. It was a real adventure as he lodged with hardworking people and had to get used to the Midlands accents, the outdoor privy, football and the pub on a Saturday night. He married Trish Hall and received a very happy posting to Copenhagen, where they were blessed with a daughter. Very traumatically she was diagnosed with a serious hole in the heart and did not live long. Back in London, a son, Thomas, and a daughter, Katie, were born. Rob became Courtaulds’ man in Italy. His gestures and idioms could be so authentically Italian they must have considered him one of them. After some years he bravely decided that he could go on his own and steered through the minefield of unscrupulous agents and maker-uppers until Chinese competition made it too difficult to continue with the business.

STOKES – On 21st September 2018, Peter Martin Stokes (F, 1938-1941). Father of Martin (F, 1975-1980). Martin advised us of his father’s death and has kindly provided these words: Peter Stokes passed away peacefully in Hereford County Hospital. He graduated from where he worked as a country vet. He spent his retirement years with his wife, Jean Mary Thompson, enjoying walking in the local countryside, painting and singing. TANNER – On 31st January 2019, Michael Morris Tanner (A, 1949-1953). The following words are taken from a letter from his widow, Sally: Michael was born in Southfields SW19 in 1935 and later lived in Chartfield Avenue, Putney with his family. It was here that he met his future wife Sally at the age of 15. They were married in 1958 and celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary in June 2018. They had two daughters Judy and Deborah. Kira, his granddaughter is now 18. Michael did his National Service in the Royal Marines, gaining a green beret and a commission as a Lieutenant. the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, and settled in Bromyard, Herefordshire,


Robert Hugh Stanley

Learning Mandarin was just going to be a bridge too far! Rob enjoyed three decades of great happiness with his second wife, Gill, a loving stepmother, a great help through business difficulties and a companion on many perfect holidays. Their lovely house and garden was opened to many young guests often trying to get a start in London. Gill was an immeasurable support throughout. This poem about Robert was written and delivered by Grahame Amey (G, 1957-1962) at Robert’s funeral: Rob at school; tall and skinny a kind and gentle giant to me. At boxing, rugby, cricket Captain cool and so courageous. Later; a self-effacing quizzical self Never claiming special knowledge Always pondering the world his place in the world. Putting his faith in his friends caring for his children Proud of Nelson, loving Gill So sad to say good-bye good Rob Now we are all robbed for ever So good-bye, good-bye good Rob . Gill, Tom and Katie have set up a justgiving site https://www. justgiving.com/fundraising/ rhstanley for donations to the Lane Fox Respiratory Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital where Robert was wonderfully nursed through his final days.

Michael Morris Tanner

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