Death of former town missionary

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Arbroath town missionary and former town citizen of the year Dr Bob Clapham has died at the age of 97.

Dr Clapham first came to the town in 1950 as a missionary and spent 60 years in the post before retiring in July 2010 at the age of 94.

During time in charge, he was instrumental in transforming the Town Mission into a state-of-the-art facility which provides services for the elderly in the town.

He was born and brought up in Lancashire and served his time as a plumber’s apprentice with Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria before a recession brought him to Glasgow in 1938.

He worked at Fairfield’s Shipyard in Govan for seven years and as a keen sportsman he played football for the works junior side.

Total commitment to his vocation came in 1945 when he became a missionary at the Seamen’s Bethel at the Broomielaw. He made the move to Arbroath in 1950, where he stayed for the next 60 years.

His work for the elderly in Arbroath was recognised in 1990 when he was awarded the British Empire Medal.

And he was honoured again by Her Majesty The Queen when he was highly commended in Help The Aged Living Legends’ Scotland local hero category.

He is also a former Arbroath Citizen of the year, being awarded the accolade in 2010. He was married to his late wife Isabella, and was a father to the late Robert and Isabell.

Dr Clapham died peacefully at his home in Arbroath on Wednesday and a funeral service will take place at the Town Mission on Wednesday (November 27) at 11 a.m.