Roger Hoare (11 Apr 1938- 25 Jan 2010)

The Funeral Service

Obituary by Donard Baird (slight editing by Ralph D. Gee). Roger passed away on 25th January 2010 aged 71 from stomach cancer.

On Roger's life I don't know if I know more than you (Ralph D. Gee). He lived at Ruislip at the time of his coming to Red Hill. He told me once that he had played truant a lot, and school refusal, and had ended up at a kind of loony bin for young people which he said was a terrible place (before RHS). After RHS he had several jobs - one of which was a storeman in the George Cohen Group before joining London Transport Underground where he worked for some 32 years - first as a guard; then as a driver on the Central Line; then as a Station Master at Brixton - and finally as a Station Inspector. He was married for most of that time to Margaret and had one daughter, Mary.

At Red Hill he had, with the help of Otto Shaw, become a Roman Catholic - which was a big and important thing to him for the rest of his life. He had interests in all sorts of bizarre subjects - for instance who was in line for the British throne, which ran into hundreds down to some obscure village squire in Lower Saxony - but his great interest was, of course, railways; followed by buses and bus routes, etc. His memory of all things about Red Hill was immense. What happens at the moment of death? Does all this vast knowledge disappear - like a computer, I suppose.

Roy Clark told me that he lost contact with Roger for years, but then one day on joining a ticket collectors' club he noticed Roger's name on the list of other members; and it was only through contact with Roy that I was able to make contact with Roger again. He was a heavy smoker and went down to the pub most days. He also did a lot of free work for his local church, and his house was filled with stuff - books from floor to ceiling. He was very good at interesting conversation.

I used to belong to a Dyslexia Association {thus RDG's self-assumed editorial licence}, and Roger would put me up overnight when I went to their Annual General Meeting. Then we would go on a day's outing of the London railway system - with a £5 ticket you could go anywhere for 24 hours - and we would go off on a vast tour of rail yards; stations; routes and lines all over London. Roger was a lifelong member of the Labour Party and had travelled around eastern Europe in the days of Communism. In his house he had a huge life-size crocodile made of old carpets and also some battery-powered plastic dogs that barked if you went past them; and also about ten battery-powered cats that sat on a long shelf and gave Chairman Mao salutes. Also, clocks that all chimed the hour - 24 hours a day. This is what happens to Old Red Hillians!

He would never go to the doctor about anything - but there are vast sections about Roger's life that I don't know.

Donard Baird February 2010

By Andrew Cleare - my school memories of him were his studies of "Bradshaw", the big paper back national railway time table books with which he would plan rail journeys between obscure stations at opposite ends of the country. He came from Ruislip from where he would explore the length and breadth of the underground. He tried, but failed, to get a ticket from Ruislip to Ruislip West. These stations are quite close together, but on different tube lines. The journey would have required going to central London to change trains. He was fond of Dr Brown's beer, not allowed of course at RHS at the time. He was sick on one occasion and MoF transfered him to the office dorm, displacing me to his chalet. I tidied it up a bit and imposed some semblance of order for the few days I was there. On his return I proudly showed off my handy work, at which point he tipped over the book case across the floor, admired the effect, and remarked "Ah that's better!" - Andrew (February 2010)








Click on the thumbnails below for early photos of Roger - with Roy Clark & Andrew Cleare (one at RHS, other taken after)