KEITH GILBERT 15/12/1935 – 13/9/2017

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Keith Gilbert and we send our condolences to his widow, Gudrun.

Keith was born in Battersea and evacuated to Kintbury in 1939, where he stayed until 1945 when he returned to London at the end of WW2.

He started work as an apprentice at the AWRE in Aldermaston in 1953. While there he met and married Gudrun in 1958, moving to Padworth in 1959. I learnt only recently that along with fellow apprentices he formed The Blacknest Skiffle Group of which he was the Lead Singer and Washboard player. He was a keen jazz fan and a regular attender at the Theale Jazz Club.

He joined Foster Wheeler in London and worked for them in many countries as a designer of steam boilers for power stations and oil refineries. He finished his career by going solo, still designing boilers. As a designer he also turned his eye to houses and there are three in Padworth who owe their extensions to Keith’s skills.

I first met Keith in June 1976 when we left our home in Aldermaston and moved in next door. I well remember telling him quite soon after moving in that my father’s farm in Shropshire had a railway line running through it and l used to watch the steam trains going past. This was the start of many stories about all things steam-driven which Keith used to regale me with on every occasion we met, only interrupted by one of his painful jokes.

Keith was on the Parish Council for 42 years and was Chairman for 10. He also did a great deal of work to keep the Village Hall going. He installed the new heating system there and was instrumental in getting the new kitchen, the Westbury Room and the football changing rooms built.

Padworth has a lot to thank Keith for and we were very lucky that he came to live here. He will be greatly missed.

His funeral will be on 5 October – see page 2 for details. Mike Warner

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