Sir Robert Wall OBE, 1929-2009
6 October 2009
Sir Robert Wall, Pro-Chancellor of the University from 1990 to 1998, died on 3 October 2009.
An engineer by training, Sir Robert began his career as a student apprentice at Bristol Aeroplane Co, now British Aerospace, and worked there until his retirement in 1988.
He was also heavily involved in politics and served for 42 years in local government. He became councillor for Horfield in 1959 and was leader of Bristol City Council from 1983 to 1984. He led the Conservative Group in the City Council between 1974 and 1997. He was elected an Alderman of the city in 1971.
In addition to serving on numerous local and national government bodies, he was a member of University Council and Chairman of the University’s General Purposes, Buildings and Audit Committees between 1979 and 1998. He was also Chairman of the Rail Users’ Consultative Committee for the West of England and a member of the Audit Commission from 1986 to 1994.
A recognised expert in local maritime history, he wrote several books on that subject and on aviation affairs.
Sir Robert was awarded an OBE in 1980 and was knighted in 1987 for public services, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He was also awarded, unusually, two honorary degrees by the University of Bristol: a Master of Arts degree in 1982 and Doctor of Engineering in 1999.