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Obituary: Eric Bamber

Obituary: Eric BamberCouncillor (later Alderman) Bamber was the first councillor who spoke to us after we came to live in Fylde almost 30 years ago.

He was a true gentleman of a type rarely seen these days.

In some ways he was a dandy - he ALWAYS sported an exactly matching tie, breast pocket handkerchief and (we think silk or paper) carnation.

Always perfectly turned out and always considerate of the feelings of others.

He suffered and was held prisoner at the notorious Changi Jail in Singapore for three years during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, during which time he helped to build Changi airport, and survived on a diet of spinach.

We have no doubt that experience influenced his later life. We once heard him say "You learned to value every single day of your life and the value friendship."

We couldn't agree more.

He came from a family of florists in the Preston area and he maintained that interest and contact with horticulture, when one of his sons followed a career in gardening, and from his enjoyment of his own garden.

He spent much of his working life in the textile and clothing industry (hence the sharp suited image), but became a councillor around 1973 and spent the next 34 years working for his electorate.

He was Conservative by persuasion, but he was not dogmatic or policy driven. Like so many of the older style councillors, his concern was for people, not policy. He saw his role as bringing common-sense and helping others. We regard those as the most worthy of attributes.

He was Mayor of Fylde in 1983/84 when he undertook and thoroughly enjoyed a very busy year. He was also immersed in the social, cultural and civic life of the area in his capacity as a councillor representing Fylde on other bodies and being a member of many local organisations.

Above all, our abiding memory of him was the respect he showed for everyone with whom he came into contact, whether they were humble of lordly.

As we said, a true gentleman.

We were very sorry to be unable to pay our respects at his funeral on Thursday, because we were attending the funeral of a family member of our own at the same time.

In common with many others we mourn the passing of one of nature's gentlemen and of the age that brought him to us.

Dated:  30 May 2014


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