Former MP pays tribute to Rodborough's 'local hero' Bob Tiley who died recently aged 71

Stroud News and Journal: Bob Tiley, a lifelong defender of Rodborough Fields and a former chairman of the village’s parish council, passed away aged 71 after collapsing at his home on Friday, December 6 Bob Tiley, a lifelong defender of Rodborough Fields and a former chairman of the village’s parish council, passed away aged 71 after collapsing at his home on Friday, December 6

TRIBUTES have been paid to the much loved and highly respected community stalwart Bob Tiley who passed away recently following a sudden illness.

A popular figure, dedicated public servant and pillar of his local community, Mr Tiley, 71, was found collapsed at his home in Castlemead Road on Friday, December 6.

Mr Tiley, who has been described as ‘Mr Rodborough’, had lived at the address for almost 50 years.

During that time he spent three decades serving as a member of Rodborough Parish Council, including a spell as chairman, and had been a regular worshipper at the village’s parish church.

He was also passionately involved in the struggle to protect Rodborough Fields from development and had vowed to fight the latest proposal for housing at the site.

As chairman of Rodborough Fields Preservation Group, Mr Tiley had twice helped to defeat applications to build on the fields.

Speaking to the SNJ last year, the former Conservative Stroud District Councillor said: "People have always been worried about the fields and now we know we are going to have another battle on our hands.”

"We really want to let the developers know that we will fight them every step of the way. It is natural green land which should be protected."

Cheltenham-born Mr Tiley was raised in Stroud and attended the former Boys’ Technical School, before forging a career in the retail sector.

Whilst working in Bristol he met his wife of 42 years Tamar, who passed away five years ago.

Former Stroud MP David Drew, who campaigned alongside Mr Tiley, said he was ‘deeply saddened’ to learn of his death.

“Bob was a doughty campaigner and a local hero to all who came to know and respect him. He will be missed by so many in our community,” the Labour politician said.

“What a wonderful epitaph if Rodborough Fields were saved from development and named in his honour.”

Mr Tiley's friend Stuart Butler wrote the following poem in his memory:

To me, it was just as though Bob Tiley
Had sprung straight from the pages of a book,
A book showing how a man named Bob Tiley should be,
How a man called BobTiley should comport himself.
Even his forename, a diminutive, informal palindrome:
Denoting that Bob was absolutely the same fore and aft,
A straightforward man who would find deceit an impossibility;
Then there is his surname's nominative determinism:
Tiley, a name suggestive of homespun DIY-ery,
Capable and reliable with any domestic repair.
I can see him now, in unassuming textbook pose,
Slowly and methodically cleaning his tools,
After tending his or a neighbour's garden;
I can see him, too, standing allotment upright,
Boy Scout shorts and those long woollen socks,
Or donning a sports jacket and tie formality
When making a required visit into Stroud,
Or letting his hair down at Rodborough fete,
Like an end of term schoolboy.
How I enjoyed listening to his rich tones,
Discoursing on cricket, football, the parish,
And, of course, the vagaries of the weather,
How I admired his old school ways,
Walking the streets, collecting for Christian Aid,
Delivering seed catalogues and notices,
Carefully emphasising his handwritten text,
With two or even three under-linings
And the occasional use of upper case,
And even a well chosen exclamation mark;
Then out on his plot in the evening light,
Surgically removing every weed,
Planting his seeds ramrod straight and true,
The sounds of the sixties on his transistor,
Gazing out to his beloved Rodborough Fields,
Fields standing empty in mute tribute to Bob.
Rodborough Fields and Bob Tiley,
Names forever interlinked,
Despite the immeasurable loss
Of a guardian of us, all, of this parish.
Rodborough Fields and Robert Tiley:
May both rest in peace.

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