THE man who oversaw work on repairing the timber structure of Gainsborough Old Hall was dedicated to the historic building.
Bob Fotheringham, who passed away in February at the age of 70, was foreman at Pumfrey’s building company and spent years working on the Old Hall.
Architect Neil Taylor, who contracted Pumfrey’s to do the work on the centuries-old building, said: “Bob’s contribution to work on the Old Hall was paramount.”
“It’s his epitaph. He lived for the Old Hall, it was close to his heart.”
Mr Fotheringham, who lived in the same farm house on Thonock Lane all his life, was a member of the Fiends of the Old Hall committee, alongside Mr Taylor.
He went to Ropery Road school and when he left at the age of 14 he took a job as an apprentice joiner with Pumfrey’s in 1956, attending day release classes at the old Gainsborough technical college.
Mr Taylor, who was an architect with Fisher Hollingsworth and Partners, said work on structural repairs to the Old Hall timbers took about 18 years, finishing in the early 1980s.
He said: “I was the architect in charge of the repairs and Bob was the foreman under my supervision.”
“He was very dedicated and well known in the industry for his work ethic.”
“He was great to work with and we had a very enjoyable partnership. He was a first class joiner and carpenter.”
Mr Fotheringham worked at Pumfrey’s until the company folded. He then got a job working on housing repairs for Scunthorpe council.
Mr Taylor, who lives in Lea, said that Pumfrey’s was run by three generations of the same family.
It was started by Bernard Pumfrey and one of its first big contracts was to build Rampton Hospital in the 1920s.
Other notable builds over the years included the Lincolnshire police headquarters at Nettleham in the late 1970s and the Park Springs housing estate in Gainsborough.
Bernard was succeeded by his sons Reg and Jack and then his grandsons Peter, Paul and John.
As well as its base on Lea Road, Gainsborough, Pumfrey’s also had another branch in Grantham. The company won contracts all over the country and had its own newsletter, copies of which were kept by Mr Fotheringham.
Mr Fotheringham’s other passion was his bike and he was a life member of Gainsborough Aegir Cycling Club.
Club captain and ride leader Trevor Halstead said: “Bob had held several of the key roles over the years, including captain and racing secretary.”
“He had been a member for well over 20 years and was a very keen touring and racing man and a member of the Cyclists Touring Club, which is a national body.”
“He was always a great ambassador for us and he was great at bringing youngsters on, he always had the time of day to pass on a wealth of information and advice to them.”
Mr Fotheringham was also a keen time trialling man and had won quite a few awards. He held most of the trike records for the Aegir club and also rode a tandem.
There is a tribute to him on the Aegir club website.