Remembering Bob Mullen

Following the recent death of our dear friend Bob Mullen, please read a tribute written by Nick Hill, with help from Cllr David Leyland and the blessing of Bob’s family.

Who was Bob Mullen?

For a start he was a husband, a father, a friend or colleague and advisor to anyone who needed help. A man who seemed to have an infinite knowledge of, well, just about everything. A man of so many facets. He dedicated his life of retirement to so many people and organisations: enriching, enabling, ever willing in giving or devoting his time and expertise to many wild life projects, be it digging ponds, planting trees, hanging nesting or roosting boxes for birds and bats, clearing undergrowth or creating places of wildlife interest at centres such as Nature’s World. He was a member of Nunthorpe’s Grumpy Gardeners, all members well chosen to match the title, he also dedicated himself to making Nunthorpe a better place, for children, adults, as well as for nature itself, so very dear to himself and all of its members.

Deeply involved with Nunthorpe Parish Council, firstly as a member, then latterly he will always be remembered as Advisor Bob. An expert in Planning and its rules and regulations, putting even the professionals to shame, as well as his universal knowledge of many other vital aspects of community management. From this he then went on to assist, or probably took a lead in the creation of other parish councils. Always steering in the right direction or proffering advice as help was needed. More recently he became Secretary to Thorpe Thewles Parish Council and probably several others that not even his closest friends knew about.

He assisted in the running of the Planetarium at Wynyard and as a scholar of Astrophysics he revelled in sharing his expertise with school groups or interested parties who came along to view the stars and heavens. He was proud to have known Patrick Moore, being invited to his home as well as to Jodrell Bank Observatory. Now in his passing, Bob has left a very large Black Hole, a void that will be impossible to fill.

In his earlier life, Bob was employed as an engineer within the Post Office Communications Department. He aided in the creation of nuclear bunkers, command and control centres, saving the lives of those deemed to be of sufficient importance, be it councillors or politicians, probably those very people who Bob would have considered not worthy of preservation. Later, he was employed by International Aeradio Ltd which was part of the British Airways Corporation, involved in the creation and setting up of microwave facilities for landing and aviation route guidance purposes. He and his family lived in Africa and the Middle East for many years until his retirement and return to Britain. At one time he was even seconded to the US armed forces as a supernumerary lieutenant in Algeria.

In recent times, even as a man with constant back pain and angina attacks of almost daily recurrence, he set about his voluntary work with a gusto that would put most of us to
shame. He was simply a man with a mission and nothing and nobody was going to stand in his way, not even the pleadings of his family to take it easy were heeded.

Bob was an avid local historian, forming or assisting in the formation of numerous history groups. His research was second to none. He gave lectures, held seminars and invited guest speakers along to his meetings. He ran his own web site, Nunthorpe History Group.

He also fought for the preservation of our rural heritage as a member of the CPRE, mixing with experts and politicians alike in order to save the countryside from the encroachment of man and his progressive concrete jungle making.

Quite simply, it would be better to ask what Bob didn’t do? Well a few of us know that he detested all things railway, including steam locomotives and definitely played no part in their preservation. Or did he? Thorpe Thewles Railway Station just might know better.

Finally, if there ever could be such a word where Bob was concerned, each Christmas he dedicated himself to the role of Father Christmas. He certainly didn’t have to worry about his facial features for that role! All dressed up in his red and white costume he was a sight to behold and probably scared the life out of many a child. Bah Humbug!

Bob Mullen, of Scottish descent and of a Hartlepool/Billingham upbringing, was simply a phenomenon, for those of us who had the great pleasure of knowing him or for a few, as a true and loyal friend, and not forgetting his wonderful family. He devoted his life to the service of others, unceasingly giving and enriching all of those he touched with his formidable knowledge and generosity. We all salute a man so dedicated to his fellow man.

Did anybody mention, ‘As a stubborn as a mule’? Bob Mullen, no, surely not!!! So Bob, if you were wrong about the next chapter of moving on to the next dimension, the after life, may poor old St. Peter have ear defenders and an expert knowledge of the book of rules for entry into that higher place, or he just might get the sack!

P.S. Should anything have been left out or omitted, apologies for not having his knowledge and expertise. And please remember that Bob never held an opinion on anything! Not bloody much he didn’t is all we can say.

Farewell Chum. Gone but never forgotten.

Who’s going to feed the hedgehogs?

Nunthorpe Parish Council Tree Policy

Trees are a highly valued feature of the parish of Nunthorpe making an enormous contribution to the character and beauty of our landscape.
Trees create and maintain environments rich in biodiversity. Nunthorpe Parish Council recognises both the human and environmental benefits of
having a healthy and sustainable tree population. The Parish Council has established a Tree Policy, which is subordinate to, but consistent with, Middlesbrough Council’s Tree Policy.

You can read it here https://nunthorpepc.org.uk/download/policy/Nunthorpe-Parish-Council-tree-policy-July-2019.pdf

Update from the Dixons Bank & Stainton Way residents meeting 16th July 2019

Update by Cllr Adrian Walker

Local residents met at the Southern Cross Pub to discuss the recent road alterations.  The meeting was well attended by residents, council officers and councillors.

As well as a possible action group for compensation on the agenda, ways to mitigate the potential for an increased level of traffic noise and air quality were discussed.  Officers agreed that more shrubbery could certainly help and are open to working with residents to provide it.

Councillor Meika Smiles asked about the possibility of a weight restriction along the route and is talking with officers to see if this could be an option.

Compensation

It was generally agreed the residents would use the same firm of surveyors to make a claim for compensation under the provisions of the Land Compensation Act 1973 for any reduction in the capital value of resident’s property.

Property owners were advised that Thomson Broadbent Chartered Surveyors had already had 23 completed representation agreements returned to them and following a show of hands this was clearly the preferred route.

If you wish to discuss the matter the Thomson Broadbent Part 1 Claims team can be contacted on: 01536 273698 or email: part1claims@thomsonbroadbent.co.uk

 

Reinstatement

Nunthorpe Parish Council has confirmed that they will be the lead organisation regarding the best possible reinstatement of the Dixons Bank / Stainton Way area following completion of the roadworks. 

At the Nunthorpe Parish Council meeting on 3rd July, the Parish Council and residents stated that the reinstatement should include grass, bulbs, wild flowers, shrubs and substantial trees. The residents on the east side of Dixons Bank feel the removal of mature trees is a significant environmental loss and in the somewhat limited remaining area would like to see a planting of mixed shrubs, this would provide some screening as well as replacing the wildlife habitat. It is expected that the difference between the number of trees removed and those planted as part of the reinstatement scheme would be planted elsewhere in Nunthorpe. 

The Parish Council has requested that Middlesbrough Council produce a plan of the proposed reinstatement and a second plan to show the location of the additional trees to be planted elsewhere in Nunthorpe and have the opportunity to comment at this stage.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you wish to discuss any aspects of the reinstatement scheme.