Memories of Bob Hales 1930-2023
We were sad to hear of the death of Bob Hales, a past chairman and Life Member of the Old Juddian Society and a Life Member of the then Old Juddian RFC.
Bob was born on the 24 th of April 1930 in Tonbridge. He grew up in Judd Road with his elder sister Betty and younger brother Mick. He attended the Slade Primary School and later Judd School. On his student card, still retained at the school, it states that Bob joined in September 1941 and left in 1947. He was involved in
Schools XV, Boxing and held a record in the hurdles in 1947.
Although, Bob had attended Judd School he played rugby for Tonbridge RFC. However, he was also a member of the Old Juddian Society,and was Chairman in 1969. He was a regular supporter of Society events. I will
always remember his strong, enthusiastic and generous support for each of the three Old Tyme Musicals that we held at the school. He was also a Life Member of the OJRFC and was the club's Vice-Chairman during the late sixties/early seventies. He became aware at that time that the OJRFC had been investigating the possibility of erecting its own clubhouse. Bob came to the club and proposed that it might wish take up an offer to convert a property he owned, to build a small clubhouse with a car park, exactly where the Tonbridge
Juddians RFC clubhouse currently stands, and that a pitch could be located in the adjacent field which he also owned. The club accepted the offer and went ahead with the scheme, originally sharing the clubhouse building, on a ninety-nine year lease, with the Sports Club of Bob’s firm, Deacon Construction, which
occupied the office block situated at the end of The Slade just before the bridge over the Hilden Brook. Since then, the office block, which I believe Bob, built and owned, has been extended and partially turned into flats.
The Old Juddian RFC and Tonbridge RFC merged in 1999 to become Tonbridge Juddians RFC which took over the clubhouse, the use of the car park and the use of the field.
Bob was also a significant supporter of Tonbridge Athletic Club, right from the very earliest days of the club’s existence. He joined as a school boy, when the club was formed in 1947. Bob was a generous benefactor to the club and was an active committee member through the 1970s and at one stage was Club President, from around 1984. Bob was a loyal and generous friend to everything related to Judd and on behalf of the Old Juddian Society I send our deepest sympathy to Bob’s family.
There is to be A Celebration & Thanksgiving for Bob`s Life on Wednesday the 10th of January 2024 at 12.15pm at the Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells where his family will be pleased to welcome his many friends.
Chairman, Old Juddian Society