Tributes paid to South Shields-born writer Bob Owen after he dies at 83

Robert Owen
Robert Owen

Tributes have been paid to a writer who turned his memories of his home town of South Shields into books.

Work took Robert Owen, known as Bob, away from the town to Huddersfield, but he never forgot his roots.

After his retirement, and inspired by an article written in The Shields Gazette about Frederick Street, where he used to live, he started to put to paper.

It led to several books and an autobiography of his life growing up in South Shields.

Some of his articles were also featured in the Gazette - including his memoirs of his time working at the Reyrolle factory in Hebburn.

Bob worked as a craft apprentice at the company from 1951-56, and after varied experiences spent 27 years as a lecturer in further education, which contributed to his move to Huddersfield.

It was during his time at Reyrolle’s he played cricket representing Reyrolle 2nd XI before retiring.

He went on his later years to write a book about two Yorkshire cricketers, Alex Coxon and Ron Aspinall, who moved to the North East and helped to rejuvenate the Durham Senior League.

Grandfather and father-of-two Mr Owen, 83, died on Christmas Day.

A funeral service will be held on Monday at Huddersfield Crematorium at 11.15am.

Lifelong friend Joseph Woodcock said: “Bob was a good lad. We were both apprentices at Reyrolle before he went to the Navy for his National Service and I went to the RAF.

“We both played cricket for South Shields. He was a methodical man, and when he moved to Huddersfield we continued to stay in touch.

“Whenever he came back to South Shields he would always come and visit me. He was a good friend.”