Bob Blackall

Bob Blackall - Life Member of the Windsor Rifle Club

Bob Blackall passed away peacefully at home in his sleep on 28th March 2016, at the age of 82, after a three and a half year battle suffering the effects of Dementia with Lewy Bodies & Parkinson’s.

Bob was a devoted family man, husband to Barbara, father to Lesley and Sandy, grandfather to Danny, Georgina and James. They miss him terribly, but his love, humour and generosity also touched so many other people throughout his life. He was a builder by profession, working in the family business and eventually taking over to run the business on the death of his father in 1967. Bob did his national service in the Royal Berkshire Regiment between 1957 & 1959 during his national service he was promoted to the ranks of NCO, and it was as a soldier he first developed a passion for target shooting.

Once on Civvy Street he honed this skill at Windsor Rifle Club, where he was a member from the 1970s until his death. He was a stalwart of the club supporting it in many ways, and will be fondly remembered by all its members. Already an accomplished shot he progressed to becoming a superb target rifleman, representing Berkshire, England and Great Britain many times.  He fully deserved the National Small-Bore Rifle Association’s Special Service Diploma awarded for services to target rifle shooting in 2009 and the Windsor Club room is rightly named after him in permanent recognition of his hard work and devotion.

In addition to his achievements with a rifle, Bob was a skilled breeder of small British birds, mainly soft bills, and won many prizes. He was successful in breeding some birds considered almost impossible in captivity, possibly because he could often be seen running around local fields with a net collecting insects to feed his birds.  His gentility with birds belied his combativeness with a cricket ball. He was a fearsome fast bowler in his younger days helping his local team mates become formidable opponents, among whom he was known as much for his humour, especially when least expected.

There are many stories of Bob’s deadpan humour and there can be no-one who knew him who was not caught out by his leg pulls. He was also renowned for his attention to detail, especially in his work. For example he was adamant that paint should be strained through a pair of women’s tights before use!  Being fastidious was evident in his garden and allotment which were cultivated to perfection, to the envy of all his neighbours. In his latter years he wasn’t able to tend his beloved allotment but still found his garden a source of deep pleasure, even when restricted to looking out on to it as he became confined to a chair at home.

He was blessed in having Barbara as his soul mate, who cared for him right to the end, along with the support of his two loving daughters and their families. His is a deep loss to them and all who knew him.