Search

Dagenham’s Sydney Russell School reunion stalwart Bob Miller dies at 65

08:43 27 August 2014

Bob Miller, pictured in July 2013, handing over letters from Dudley Moore to Valence House Museum

Bob Miller, pictured in July 2013, handing over letters from Dudley Moore to Valence House Museum's Clare Sexton, assistant archivist

Archant

A former policeman who organised the annual reunion for a Dagenham school has died aged 65.

Bob Miller was born in Fanshawe Crescent in 1947. He attended Alibon Primary before progressing, along with his entire class, to Dagenham County High, now Sydney Russell School.

A talented sportsman, Bob boxed with Graham Moughton, who represented Great Britain at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and played football.

He was also a promising actor and wrote about his early years in a Post People feature two years ago.

“My English master thought I had a good, booming voice,” he said.

“When I was about 14 he put me forward for an audition for the National Youth Theatre.

“I had to learn a piece from Shakespeare’s Henry V and I remember one of the people who listened to me at the audition was Sir Alec Guinness.

“Some time later, a letter arrived to say I had got a place, but, as my father has the same name as me, he opened it.

“He was disgusted, ripped the letter up and told me there was no way I was going to hang out with a ‘load of poofs’. So that was it.

“I later found out that the intake that year included Helen Mirren, Ian McShane and Stephanie 
Beacham.”

A regular at the reunions of Dagenham County High alumni, he took over their running in 2001.

Bob leaves behind wife Maureen, 63, daughters Claudia-Jane, 37, and Candice, 35, plus two granddaughters.

“He was a gentle, loving, family man who was respected by many – inspirational, always positive and always smiling,” said Maureen. “He had a huge breadth of knowledge and enriched many people’s lives.”

A keen Daggers fan, Bob still attended matches reguarly, despite spending his later years in Chelmsford, where he rose to the police rank of detective inspector.

Guardian journalist and blogger Roy Greenslade was a year above Bob at secondary school.

“He was one of the most delightful people I ever met,” he told the Post.

“He was a great organiser and always had an optimistic outlook.

“He genuinely loved people and enjoyed conversation and argument. He had a terrifically positive outlook on life and nothing was too much trouble for him.

“I will miss him greatly, as will hundreds of others.”

• Bob’s funeral will be held at Chelmsford Cathedral on Monday, September 15, at 1pm

Read more:

Letters from Dudley Moore to his teacher come to Dagenham

Post People: Dagenham’s Bob Miller

Latest News Stories

11:41
The scene at The Brewery in Romford after the stabbing

A man who repeatedly stabbed a 19-year-old in a packed shopping centre restaurant has been cleared of attempted murder, but still faces years in jail.

40 minutes ago
Doodle of Dagenham

Scott Redmond, 44, posted drawings of places in the borough, past and present, online. He tells Adam Barnett how his Dagenham Days project took off on Twitter and Facebook by stirring people’s memories

Homes will go to people who have lived here for three years

The second radical alteration to Barking and Dagenham’s housing policy in just a few months comes into effect on Monday.

Clare Butler (back left) with some of the children and teenagers who attended her Barking and Dagenham diabetes support group (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

The founder of a diabetes support group for youngsters coping with the condition says she has been pleased with the response to her first meeting.

Most read news

Apple’s CEO has used an editorial piece in the US to come out as gay.

Party leader Nigel Farage and Ukip are to feature in a spoof Channel 4 documentary.

It’s not just a bit warmer, it will be eight degrees warmer than is normal for this time of year.

Rushing towards the bear for a photo is not the done thing!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Barking and Dagenham Post e-edition today E-edition