Our friend, Chris Black, a lifetime member of the Labour Party and activist in local politics in Bedford died on Saturday 26 July 2014, aged 75 years.
Chris served as a Bedfordshire County Councillor from 1972-78 and Bedford Borough Councillor from 1971-74 and 1995-2009 when he represented Kempston and then Cauldwell ward.
Born in Southampton in July 1939, Chris attended Peter Symonds Grammar school in Winchester, leaving in 1957 for Birmingham University where he obtained a degree in Physics in 1960.
Chris started his working life at Mullard’s in Mitcham, Surrey but moved to Bedford in 1963 to work for Texas Instruments.
Chris and Judith met at Birmingham University and married in 1961. Their two daughters were born in the mid 60’s.
Over the next 40 years he held just about every office in the local party and
was keenly involved in education being Chair of the Education Committee in the 1970s when the new Comprehensive Upper schools were being set up. Chris was an active School Governor over many years.
In 1980 Chris had the chance to work in the USA for Texas Instruments in Houston and it was during this time that he developed a passionate interest in catamaran sailing. On returning to the UK he bought a boat and joined Grafham Water sailing club where he became a regular and proficient member of the Catamaran Sprint 15 Fleet.
When Texas Instruments closed in Bedford in 1995 Chris joined former colleagues in setting up a new Engineering company, Spicer Consulting, which has grown and expanded over recent years.
Chris has been involved up to the present in local charities, and has still had time to pursue a wide range of interests showing his stamina and problem-solving spirit.
He has enjoyed hiking and camping in wild places including the Hebrides as well as developing more sedentary pursuits such as genealogy .
Chris has endured his illness with quiet fortitude and he died the day after his 75th birthday.
He leaves his wife Judith, daughters Rosie and Hilary and his two grandsons, Jacob and Samuel whose achievements gave him immense pride.
A Humanist funeral ceremony to celebrate Chris’ life will take place on Wednesday 13 August 2014 at 1.45pm at Bedford Crematorium, Norse Road.