Death of museum guardian

Rodney Bott
Rodney Bott

THE familiar face of Bridlington’s historic Bayle Museum, Rodney Harold Bott, has died after losing his battle against cancer.

Mr Bott, 64, had been curatorial assistant at the Lords Feoffees run museum close to Bridlington Priory, since 2007. Before that he had been a seasonal attendant since 2003.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer just before last Christmas and ill health led to him taking early retirement in September this year.

He died in the Macmillan Wolds Unit at Bridlington Hospital last Tuesday, October 18.

Before moving to Bridlington from Hinkley in Leicestershire in 2002 he had worked at Donington le Heath Manor House and museum at Coalville.

It followed a successful career as a village policeman with the Leicestershire force from 1977 which ended in 1988 due to injuries he received whilst performing his duties causing him to leave the force through ill health.

Always keenly interested in history, as a young family in the 1970s he and his wife Jenny and their two daughters Anna and Kelly joined a 17th century historical society taking part in re-enactments.

Later he was to be a member of the American Civil War Society and joined re-enactments at Sewerby Hall and elsewhere.

Whilst at The Bayle Museum Mr Bott formed close relationships with local schools, in particular Burlington and St Mary’s through regular visits to the schools and the museum.

He also contributed a regular “Bayle Bits and Bobs” column on local history to The Bridlington Free Press.

Mr Bott also worked for a short time at Kirkgate House where he supported and helped many of the residents. He enjoyed his time there and was liked by residents some of whom visited him when the Bayle Museum was open and he was on duty.

Tributes to Mr Bott have also been paid by the Lords Feoffees.

Chief Lord, Clive Wilson said during his time at the Bayle Mr Bott had made many friends through visits to the museum.

“Rod was passionate and enthusiastic about the Bayle Museum and had built up a extensive knowledge of Bridlington over the years and enjoyed preparing the Bayle articles for the Free Press.

“Personally, I will miss the many occasions we chatted together about our hopes for the future of the Museum, he will be sadly missed by us all,” he said.

Mr Bott, who lived in Woodcock Road, Flamborough, is survived by his wife Jenny, two daughters and three grandchildren.

His funeral was at 12 noon yesterday, Wednesday October 26, at Octon Crematorium.