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in memory of Bob Stansfield
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Bob Stansfield, a Lancastrian, born in the Pennines at Rochdale in 1925 and a lifelong, if modest mountaineer, rock climber and cross country skier. A voluntary warden in his beloved Lake District and temporary instructor with Outward Bound Mountain School at Ullswater (he held a BMC Mountain Leaders Certificate). He has walked in most of the high places of mainland Britain and less extensively in the Alps.

Bob StansfieldWhen a police officer in Rochdale he instituted a skyline route around the town, 'The Roof of Rochdale', trained police cadets in orienteering in his spare time and founded what he believes was the first police climbing club, “The Frothblowers”. He acquired his rock climbing skills with Lancashire Caving and Climbing Club and remained a member until he left for Essex in 1965.

In 1986 he retired to Spain to live on the slopes of Sierra Olta (591m), overlooking theMediterranean at Calpe and for the next fifteen years, he and his wife Kathy thoroughly explored the coastal ranges of Las Marinas climbing every peak and exploring the beautiful valleys, producing extensive guide books and contributing regular articles for the local English language press. He was a founder and, with Kathy, joint secretary of Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers for the first five years and a leader until 1990. He also instituted three long distance walks across the mountains and published walking guides.

A review of one of these walks in a magazine in England attracted Brian Evans, then a partner in Cicerone Press and resulted in the publication of his first book in Britain. Now in two volumes a new edition, which came out in 2001 (Costa Blanca Mountain Walks ISBN 1 85284 330 6), has surely the most comprehensive collection of mountain walks in the area and includes, for good measure, a popular and exciting descent of the Barranco del Inferno, a most interesting gully, contributed by his friend and mentor Roger Massingham.

After spending his last year in Spain completely revising the new edition of his book for Cicerone Press, Bob left to reside in the comfort of an Old Folks Home with Kathy in Gorton, Manchester. He had an ambitious programme of walks lined up, all easily accessible from his new home, including some described and published by his friend Clarke Rogerson, in his 'Walk! The South Pennines' (Discovery Walking Guides). Sadly his ambition to rediscover Lancashire was frustrated by a serious heart attack, which has left him unable to enjoy walking anymore. He consoles himself by endeavouring to improve his sketching and watercolours, mastering his computer, writing his memoirs and a new venture, a Sketchbook which was published in 2007.

Following the death of Kathy in late 2007, Bob returned to his beloved Spain. Bob himself died on 19th March 2009, he will be greatly missed by his family and friends but his legacy lives on for those whom wish to enjoy the high places of the Cosa.

 

 

Last updated 17.04.2009
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bob Stansfield 1925 - 2009