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Robert George (bob) Harpley 1927 – 2003

19th of November 2003

Bob was born on 26 July 1927 in a flat above the coach house at Little Callipers on Chipperfield Common. The family moved to a cottage next door to The Manse and Bobs mother started to attend the Baptist Church. Little did she know how involved her family would become with the church in the years ahead.

As a boy, Bob was an aeroplane fanatic (which stayed with him all his life) and he and his brother Jack would often cycle to Bovingdon Airfield to watch the aircraft. Bob was a member of the Royal Observer Corps from the early 1950s until 1991, when it was “stood down”.

Bob attended the village school until he was 14 and was then apprenticed to the carpentry shop at E.J.Waterhouse where he remained employed for 51 years -all his working life. This was interrupted when he was called up on the day World War 2 ended and served in the R.A.F. for three years.

Although he was christened at St. Pauls Church, he was Baptised at the Baptist Church on 20 April 1952 and became a loyal member of the church where he became involved with both the Youth Club and the Boys Brigade. He was Church Secretary for 25 years.

In 1958 Bob married Brenda Hume who had lived with his family as a war-time evacuee from London and they made a home at Sunset with Bobs parents who had the house built in 1938. Bob and Brenda had three children, Angela, Philip and Kate. Bob had several hobbies including photography (he developed his own films), gardening (a large garden and two allotments) and a greenhouse which he built himself. He also enjoyed woodturning and his skill can not only be seen at the Baptist Church but in many other churches and houses in Chipperfield and all over Hertfordshire.

At the Thanksgiving Service held for Bob at the Baptist Church on 1 October, the church was filled to capacity with his many friends and acquaintances and was a fitting tribute to his life.

Bob leaves his wife, Brenda, children Angela, Philip and Kate and grandchildren Simon, Helen, Eleanor, Sarah, Julia, Owen and five-week old Lily Mae.

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