WILLIAM (Bill) Rudkin, of Essex Road, Stamford, died at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, aged 99.
Born in Burrough-on-the-Hill, near Melton, into a family of four sisters and one brother (with another sister later), he lived in Great Bowden, Medbourne, Toynton All Saints, North Collingham, Duddington, Emping-ham and Stamford, as his father, a groom/gardener, moved with his job.
Bill started his working life at the Williamson Cliff brickyard, but left after two weeks, and moved to work with Jack Flanders, where he learned much about the nursery and floristry business over the next four years. He remained a keen gardener all his life.
Being too old to be the florists ‘boy’ anymore, he moved to Blackstones, where he worked in the machine shop, stores and various planning office capacities. He then worked for Allis Chalmers (Fiat Allis) until his retirement in 1978.
During the Second World War he was an air raid warden in Stamford, and liked to tell the tale of the German bomber that jettisoned its bombs and tracer bullets over the town, before crashing near Spalding, while he was on patrol in Radcliffe Road.
Bill was a keen musician, playing the trumpet, piano, accordion and occasionally the violin. As well as playing in local dance bands and running the ATC and Boy Scout bands, he was also a member of Stamford Town Band and at the age of 20 played in a series of concerts at Hunstanton Pier.
There he met his future wife, Ellen, and they married in 1940 at St John’s Church, Stamford. For a while they lived in Cecil Terrace in Recreation Ground Road and Frisbys Buildings and then moved to Caretakers Cottage at Blackstones Engineering.
In 1953 they moved to Masterton Road and spent many years there, later moving to Cornwall Road and finally Essex Road flats. Sadly Ellen died in 2008.
Bill enjoyed playing bowls and was a successful member of several bowls clubs in Stamford, being secretary of Stamford Town Bowls Club at one time. When he was unable to play he still enjoyed watching bowls matches on the Recreation Ground.
On his retirement he enjoyed socialising and attending dances at the old Blackstones Social Club. He also loved being the “entertainer”, especially at Essex Road flats, with his keyboard, songs and jokes.
Bereaved are his sons Robert and Trevor and their families. He will be missed as a father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great- grandfather.
The funeral service took place at Marholm Crematorium.
Mourners included: Robert Rudkin, Carol Rogers, Trevor and Dorothy Rudkin, Vicki Rudkin, Joanne Rudkin, Jason and Nicola Rudkin, Matthew and Hayley Rudkin, Charlie Bray, Jemma Rudkin, Gianni Mastrocristino, Bill and June Peacock, Arnold and Kay Peacock, Jean and Michael Mulready (representing Tracy, Laura and Rachael Barnes), Michael and Maureen Dodkin, Kim, Billy, Liam and Eleanor Scales, Paula Lyon (family), Andrew Dunn (George Barnett), Joan Smith.