A tribute to Bob Jordan: 1933-2021
News from Yate Heritage Centre
BOB Jordan was one of a core of local history enthusiasts developing and sharing historic material for people like me, and the community at large, for the last 30 years.
Bob was, for many people, the face of Yate’s heritage, in his own right or as part of Yate District Oral History Project.
Every community needs people to step up and do historic research or develop collections for the public good.
Bob died in hospital in October 2021 following a period of cancer. He survived his wife Joy by nearly two years, and two sons.
Bob will be missed by numerous local people. As a Yate man through and through, he had countless contacts in the locality and could normally be relied upon to have some background knowledge of 20th century social and local history around Yate – or to know a man who did!
Many Yate Town Council employees and others can testify to his knowledge of the area and easy manner in sharing it.
Bob was a leading light in the Yate District Oral History Project for many years up to his death.
For much of the late 1990s and 21st century he was the organiser of numerous trips for the group and booked countless speakers for the organisations.
He was happy to highlight his photographic collections, which were often a centrepiece of many of the Christmas parties.
To that effect he was, first and foremost, a great collector of photographs and regular visitor to postcard fairs, enabling him to establish a wonderful collection of photographs of the local area, much of which he was happy to share with other historians and the local community.
Yate Heritage Centre was indeed a richer place for Bob’s endeavours, and many of our images we are able to use stem from his generosity in this respect. Possibly his most significant collection item was an album of 1894 pictures of the area, which has brought to life scores of temporary exhibitions at Yate Heritage Centre and adorned some online displays, too.
On a personal level, Bob was always very friendly to me when I began at Yate Heritage Centre, and although not all of the YDOHP group approved of the move from the library, Bob made the effort to support Yate Heritage Centre from the outset.
He was always eager to answer enquiries and often asked me if there were any in the offing, even if there weren’t!
Bob became a keyholder after we opened in late 2000, which enabled us to open on Thursdays, and from 2001, staffed the heritage centre for one in four Saturday mornings from 2001 up to 2021, when illness finally laid him low.
Bob will be sorely missed and was a bridge between generations, happy to share the history of our local area and to inspire those who worked with him.
Picture: Bob Jordan (back row, 3rd right) in Newmans' cricket team