It is with sadness that we share with HAPPA Supporters the passing of former Welfare Officer Mr Robert Marriott, fondly known as Bob.
Bob came to HAPPA as a retired Mounted Police Officer and worked for HAPPA as a Welfare Inspector investigating cruelty and rescuing many equines, safe into the care of the Charity. Working alongside our devoted Ken Cranage and other Welfare Officers, Bob left a lasting mark on all who knew and meet him in the ‘field’ for HAPPA.
Bob is remembered with much fondness, he was incredible to work alongside and got on famously with everyone who was privileged to have known him. He was a true gentleman and the salt of the earth, he was a great tutor and came out of retirement several times to train up new HAPPA Equine Inspectors.
Bob had the patience of a saint he got on with everyone, he had a cheerful disposition that would rub off on those around him. He worked like clockwork and would report for duty every morning at 9 am and start the day ready for action. He had time for anyone and everyone and was meticulous and thorough in his work. He was passionate about HAPPA and continued to support the Charity long after his retirement and regularly attended the HAPPA Fundraising Ball. His smiling face on the dance floor will be greatly missed.
The good old days and times gone by will never be the same without Bob Marriot, it was an honour to have known him.
HAPPA would like to extend their condolences to the family and close friends of Bob, and to all those who knew him at West Yorkshire Police Force.
Here’s our very own Equine Inspector, Liz Pharaoh’s memories of Bob, from her time at West Yorkshire Police
I was first introduced to Bob Marriott as a fresh faced recruit in the West Yorkshire Police Mounted Section. That was over 30 years ago. All my hopes and dreams rested on my ability to pass the course and fulfill a lifelong dream to be a mounted police officer. Luckily for me and many others who followed, it turned out Bob was to be our instructor in all matters equestrian. Spending 16 weeks with five novice riders would have tested anyone’s patience but Bob remained calm, patient and very understanding throughout. The vast amount of knowledge that one man had was truly unbelievable and he generously shared it all with his class of ‘89. He never once raised his voice to us or our poor mounts. He quite simply commanded respect.
This is a picture of me with Bob at the entrance to the WYP mounted Branch. We are wearing our ceremonial uniforms with Bob on his beloved Prime Lad. We all got to know this horse quite well and what a pleasure it was when we got to ride Bob’s highly trained horse. Prime Lad was not a horse to let the small matter of novices riding him go un-noticed and the look of sheer disdain he gave Bob every time we passed him in the school was palpable.
On one occasion when Bob treated his new recruits to a jumping lesson in the field, things did not totally go to plan. Having decided to demonstrate how it should be done on one of our horses, Cavalier had other ideas and bucked Bob into the sky. No one dared to laugh but it was cream cakes all round.
We ate a lot of cream cakes on that course.
There has been an out pouring of love and respect for PC 546 Marriott and I would like to share a few of the sentiments with you from his old colleagues…
“Massive gentle sole”
“Patience of a saint”
“End of an era”
“Great colleague and friend”
“Always smiling and good company”
“Old school and loved the job”
“Conscientious and dedicated mounted officer”
“Good ambassador for Happa”
How nice it was that I could maintain my friendship with Bob when I came to work for Happa. For those of you not fortunate enough to remember Bob, take a sidewards glance next time you enter the admin block. His picture is on the wall.
Happy memories of a lovely man.