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Rob at Colin and Cathy's Wedding, 2003 (click to enlarge)

Rob Westwood
1968 - 2004

Rob was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on the Isle of Man on Tuesday, 8th June 2004.
 
He has been one of my best mates ever since we met at University, and we've shared many enjoyable outings, holidays, and visits to local hostelries. His kindness, generosity, and sense of humour were among his finest qualities. Coupled with his excellent culinary skills, this made him an excellent host. Whenever I needed a favour, he'd always be willing to lend a helping hand, never expecting anything in return.
 
We worked together at Bentley, where he was known to be a very talented and professional chassis design engineer. He had a wide circle of friends at work, many of whom shared his passion for motorbikes of all descriptions. He also had pockets of friends all over the country, and lots around the West Midlands where he was very close to his family. He loved life, and since meeting his girlfriend Deborah, he had never seemed happier.

 
Rob was one of the DPH's most enthusiastic and longest serving members, and participated in most of the events as well as organising a few of his own. He was a keen skier, snowboarder and snowblader, and never missed a ski trip. He also loved mountain biking, and enjoyed the walking weekends and parties too. Many of the features on this website are here thanks to his suggestions and encouragement.
 
Another of his many contributions to the DPH was as the fashion designer for all the souvenir T-shirts for the ski trips. Few people will realise how much trouble he went to to design a haute couture garment worthy of the label "House of Rob".
 

Posing for the letter P (click to enlarge) The finished T-shirt (click to enlarge)
Wilbur, September 2002 (click to enlarge)

His sense of fun was legendary, and future events just won't be the same without him. He will be hugely missed by all his friends.
 
A passage which sums up Rob's approach to life:
 
Look to this day, for it is Life, the very life of Life;
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence...
the bliss of Growth, the glory of Action, the splendour of Beauty.
For Yesterday is but a dream,
and Tomorrow only a vision;
But Today well lived makes Yesterday a dream of Happiness
and Tomorrow a vision of Hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.

 
 
A personal tribute from El Tillotson:
 
Rob became a close friend over the years and I'm glad I knew him. He was one of those people who it was always good to be around.
 
I'll miss his daft humour and sense of fun; the way his eyes would light up when he spotted the rickety tree trunk precariously balanced over the river, or the bicycle just begging to be ridden along the top of the barge. That little giggle he would give as he set off to prove that the stunt was possible.
 
I'll miss his endless patience; I've lost count of the number of ski slopes he's managed to talk me down when I'd got myself all worked up. I never knew him to lose his temper with anything or anyone, and he would always respond to a difficult situation with humour. He was never fazed and took everything in his stride.
 
I'll miss his kindness and generosity; he phoned regularly when I was pregnant, to check everything was OK, and it saddens me that Anna won't have the chance to know him. He would always be there whenever I wanted a favour and nothing ever seemed to be too much trouble. He was a generous host too; there was always smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on New Years Day, and this after he'd cooked a great meal the night before.
 
I've been trying to remember the first time I met Rob, but I can't. He's always been there, and it's difficult to accept that he isn't any more. I'll remember him with a huge amount of fondness; he was a lovely man and a great friend.

 
 
A personal tribute from Dan Barber, which he read at the funeral on 25th June:
 
What can I say about Rob? Well I was lucky enough to know Rob for 4 years as a friend and colleague.
 
We first became friends due to our love of anything with an engine from cars, bikes and even lawnmowers when Rob joined Bentley as our Air Suspension expert. As our friendship grew, Rob was happy to introduce me to off-road motor bikes, guiding me through the first few outings with his words of advice and helping me extract my bike from deeper and deeper mud holes but generally being quicker and more skillful than me.
 
As the years went on I decided to get my own back and we started to enter enduro races where the emphasis is definitely on endurance rather than the racing. I managed to beat Rob in our first race only because Rob stopped in a timed section to help a fellow competitor extract his bike from a rather large ditch, which rather sums up Rob for me. After that Rob continued to be faster than me even though I bought a bike which I was sure would be faster than Rob's Honda. So in a final desperate act I persuaded Rob and some other friends to enter the TBM 12 hour endurance enduro with me, as I was sure I could get the better of Rob over 12 hours! Luckily for me, I broke my wrist the month before the event preventing me from racing but also preventing me from suffering further humiliation as Rob went on to get the fastest lap out of our team on the slowest bike.
 
Myself, I introduced Rob into the exciting world of moving heavy furniture and checking my engineering reports for me which he was always willing to help with no matter how big the wardrobe or how bad the grammar and spelling.
 
So whenever I'm stuck in a bog, stuck under a wardrobe or just stuck trying to work out what a semi-colon does, Rob will always be with me explaining patiently where I've gone wrong.

 
 
Motor Show, October 2000 (click to enlarge)

Hafren Forest, 2002 (click to enlarge)
 
 
Scotland, October 2000 (click to enlarge)

Bristol University (click to enlarge)

Snowblading at La Plagne, 2002 (click to enlarge)

Barbecue, August 2001 (click to enlarge)

Yorkshire, December 2000 (click to enlarge)

Scotland, October 2000 (click to enlarge)

Rob at Colin and Cathy's Wedding, 2003 (click to enlarge)

 
 
This is the eulogy written by family friend Malcolm Bowdler:
 
Rob was 35 years of age being born in Kingswinford, in the West Midlands on the 3rd November 1968 to Bob and Pat who already had a daughter Sara. He attended the local Bromley Hills School as a child and later moved just along the road to the Crestwood School.
 
During this time, and indeed up to only 4 years ago when he bought a house of his own in Nantwich, Cheshire, he lived with his parents in Kingswinford. His great interest during these former years, until his studies and work commitments took over most of his time, was the Scouting movement. He joined the Cubs at the age of 7 and remained associated with the Scouts until the age of 18 participating latterly in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
 
Rob remained at Crestwood School gaining 'A' grade 'O' levels in 7 subjects and later Grade 'A' in advanced level. He attended Bristol University where he attained a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering.
 
It was here that he met Richard, Jim, Eleanor, Alistair, Joe and Tom and began deep and lasting friendships, to say nothing of the early days of DPH, "The Department of Perpetual Holidays", the wonderful concept of a non-profit-making organisation hosted by Richard in the pursuance of "fun and frolics" for like minded people doing anything from skiing and snowboarding to mountain biking and hill walking. He remained an active supporter of DPH and up to the present time participated in many of the holidays and weekend activities, which, funnily enough, always seemed to include the odd can, or two, of best Boddingtons. I understand that the New Year's Eve party at Rob's at Nantwich was an event not to be missed. His efforts at making the party a "Culinary Event to Remember" became legendary, even though the wine drinking before, during and afterwards made recollection a little vague.
 
Whilst at university, he was sponsored by GKN at Wolverhampton where he worked during vacation periods but shortly after leaving university he moved to Marston Aerospace at Wolverhampton as a Design Engineer, designing Heat Exchangers for fighter planes and other applications in the aerospace industry. Not only did this signal a change of job but also became the seed of another great love of his, the historic and classic Sunbeam Motor Cycle.
 
Motorcycling had always been a part of life, both for family and friends. Bob, Rob's father, always talked and joked of his rides on the Triumph to Catterick Army Camp during National Service days and used a bike daily to commute to work.
 
Whilst still very young and at junior school, Rob became very upset and indignant one day when other children would not believe him. He was pointing at the time to a BSA 250cc machine just going by the school accompanied by his exclamation, "That's my Mum!". Of course the thought of Mummy riding happily by on a motor bike was just too much for the other children to contemplate.
 
Family friend, Malcolm who lived across the road was, when Rob was young, a Police motorcyclist, and thus Rob was, as a child often seen, (I would add, quite illegally) getting a ride up the road sitting astride the tank of a Police Liveried B.S.A or Norton.
 
So it is not difficult to see why, and from where, Rob's love of motorcycles and indeed motorcycling began. As soon as he was old enough, the first bike a DT 50 appeared, and from that moment on began a love affair with motor cycling which extended to riding both on and off road, many of his most enjoyable times being spent with Dan and other friends up to his armpits in mud, picking Dan up or trying to stop him falling off and breaking something else!
 
At Marstons, where he worked, being the home of the Sunbeam, there existed a small but deeply enthusiastic group running the Sunbeam Owners Club and it was not long before Rob joined the merry band, acquiring his own Sunbeam which he proudly rode to shows and on the "Testers Run", which those who participated will know was a thinly disguised largely alcoholic weekend in Wales.
 
Again the family involvement with biking continued with Bob his father and Bob's brother "Uncle Jeff" (who never was to Rob an Uncle but just a best mate), joining the merry band of alcoholics (sorry that should read motor cycle enthusiasts) at many of the shows and events.
 
Work wise, in 1995 Rob moved to Land Rover at Solihull, designing Air Suspension Levelling Systems for the Land Rover Discovery, and later in 1999 following his success with the Land Rover Discovery, he moved to BMW Group, Gaydon to join the main "Intelligent Suspension Systems" design team, where again he developed long lasting friendships. In 2000, he moved to Crewe to join Bentley Motors where he was currently employed as their Air Suspension Design Engineer.
 
On a more personal note, recently a new and very special love entered Rob's life in the form of his girlfriend Deborah with whom he had begun a loving and what promised to be a lasting relationship. When I last spoke to him he confided that he was considering taking riding lessons, on a horse this time rather than his beloved Sunbeam.
 
So who was Rob? To us all, he will undoubtedly be remembered in a slightly different way, a way that reflects our own personal relationship with him. To Bob and Pat he was a loving and devoted son, but also a great friend to whom both automatically turned in times of trouble or simply if decisions were to be made or things to be talked through.
 
To Sara he was a loving brother who doted on Jack and Ellie her children, and a great friend to Sara's partner Dave.
 
To his friends at Sunbeam, he was always supportive, enthusiastic and ready to lend a hand with anything that needed doing, even to the extent that he travelled to and from Nantwich most Tuesday evenings to attend the weekly get-together.
 
To his friends in DPH he will always be remembered for his humour and those "damn silly hats".
 
Collectively, we will all remember him for his help, his loyalty, his unwavering friendship, his kindness and consideration and mostly his endless sense of fun.
 
He will always be there, always be remembered, always "Our Rob".

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This page replaces Rob's DPH member profile, and can be reached from www.dphols.co.uk/rob. If you would like to add your own tribute to this page, or would like a copy of the CD of photographs of Rob, please contact the admin address below.


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