Copdock stalwart's sudden death

A WELL-known Copdock resident died in the same week his house was due to be rebuilt after a devastating fire, it emerged today.Bob Pratt, who lived a simple life in the village his whole life, was rocked with emotion when villagers rallied round to help him earlier this year when his house, which he was born in, was burnt down.

A WELL-known Copdock resident died in the same week his house was due to be rebuilt after a devastating fire, it emerged today.

Bob Pratt, who lived a simple life in the village his whole life, was rocked with emotion when villagers rallied round to help him earlier this year when his house, which he was born in, was burnt down.

He died at the weekend following a heart attack at the age of 64-just days before rebuilding work was due to start.

His younger sister, Hilary Riley, 60, from Bentley, said: “Bob will be very sadly missed by all his family. Since the fire devastated his home, his family, who were looking after him, were looking so forward to him moving back into his home, which was going to be rebuilt this week.

“It is with great sadness to his family that Bob will not enjoy his new home in his retirement. It is so unfair. It has been a nightmare for the past two months and it had just been sorted.

“We had become so close since the fire. He really opened up to me.”

Most Read

After the fire ripped through his home in Elm Lane in April, destroying all its contents, he lived with his sister Hilary, and her husband and two sons, for a month, before moving into a mobile home in the garden of his property.

Mr Pratt relied on the kindness and generosity of friends, colleagues and family to help him rebuild his life following the fire.

Mark Gladwell, manager at Copdock Mill, where Mr Pratt worked in the manufacturer's department for the last 20 years, said: “Everyone rallied round to help him in those first few days.

“He did not show a lot of emotion normally but he was quite overwhelmed by the kindness and support from everyone.

“He was a solid valuable member of staff. I have known him since he was at school as I have lived in the village all my life.

“Bob was forceful in his opinions, very intelligent, enormously reliable and accurate. He was virtually a fixture in the village.”

Cricket was one of his main passions in life, having never missed a home game as a scorer for the Copdock and Old Ipswichians cricket club in the 50 years that he was a member. During the winter, he attended matches at Ipswich Town Football Club as he had a season ticket. He was also a regular at the local pub.

Rick Jones, chairman of the cricket club, described Mr Pratt as “absolutely utterly reliable”.

He added: “He was very friendly, good humoured and laughed a lot.”

Mr Pratt was one of four children. His brother died five years ago but his sister is still living in the area,

Do you have a tribute about Bob Pratt? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter