Marking many varied years

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Marking many varied years Marking many varied years

Bob Wheatley celebrated his 87th birthday on March 25th.

A life long local Liberal, at 17 years old, he served in the Merchant Navy in Liverpool and saw the turning point and telling phase change in the delivery of food and munitions on convoy home runs in the Battle of the Atlantic.

He completed the whole of the Sir Billy Butlin’s race from John O’Groats to Lands End in 1961 in just 16 days when he was with the renowned long distance walker  Barbara Moore.

Bob finished the whole 900 miles plus in just 16 days with a few changes of walking socks at overnight stops en route.

In 1996 Bob Wheatley as mayor of Waltham Forest and local window cleaner, went to Wansbeck, Hamburg that had twinned for the sake of making new links, on behalf of refugee children and orphans.

This was the brain child of Elsie Pracey, a Walthamstow headteacher, during that first important period of post-Second World War reconstruction.

Many happy returns Bob, in your life’s journey for liberty and freedom.

Patrick Smith,
Higham Hill Liberal Democrat Focus.

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