WARM tributes have been paid to tireless campaigner and champion of Portsmouth’s seafront Bob Adderley.
As chairman of the Portsmouth Society and founder of the Friends of the Pyramids the 81-year-old was dedicated to protecting and enhancing what he called ‘the best place in the world’.
The great-grandfather, credited by many with saving Portsmouth’s seafront swimming pool from closure, moved to the south coast when he retired at 65.
Born in Kent on February 11, 1930, he moved to Bristol at four and, following his father’s death when he was 13, spent several years moving around with his mother before moving to live in Dorset.
From a young age he wanted to join the navy but – to his great disappointment – failed the medical for the sea cadet corps.
However when conscription was introduced in 1948 he began 22 years of service in the RAF which saw him flying in the Korean war before becoming a military air traffic controller and then an air staff officer at Headquarters Far East Air Force in Singapore.
He left the military at 40 and returned to the UK where he became an aviation consultant, working in North America and eight European countries on airport planning projects.
Later he worked as chief planning officer for the Hong Kong international airport and went on to set up his own business as an aviation consultant.
In 1997 he retired and settled in Portsmouth, soon becoming a member of the Portsmouth Society’s executive committee and eventually being elected its chairman in 2009.
According to Bob, the society’s committee started holding meetings at his seafront flat ‘because they like my view and my chocolate biscuits’.
He was also chairman of West Southsea Neighbourhood Forum from 2000 until 2006 and founded the campaign group Friends of the Pyramids to save the seafront pool.
In 2008 – having been given more than 9,000 signatures on a petition to keep it open – Portsmouth City Council announced the campaign had been a success.
Gary Milne is managing director of Southsea Community Leisure, which runs The Pyramids.
He said: ‘Without a doubt if it had not been for Bob’s drive, passion and commitment The Pyramids may well be no more.’
Bob was a keen writer, finishing three novels and numerous short stories and articles.
He also took up sailing and gliding.
He died last week leaving a wife, Pat, and two children.