08:53 Monday 09 December 2013

Family pay tribute to fire museum champion

Written byHELEN KREFT

Burton Fire Station museum / open day pre-picFF Rob Cox Burton Fire Station museum / open day pre-picFF Rob Cox

THE daughters of the champion behind a museum chronicling the town’s firefighting history have paid tribute their father following his death aged 53.

Former firefighter, Rob Cox, passed away peacefully at his daughters’ home, following a short battle with a brain tumour.

His daughters, Emma and Vicky, described their father as ‘unique’ and who never bragged about his charity work despite volunteering at both the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK shops, after retiring from the fire service last year.

Mr Cox, who was proudly Burton born and bred, was also well known in the town for his work on three books, one charting the history of the fire service in Burton – We All and Each of Us in 2002.

“He loved history, it had interested him all his life,” his daughter, Emma said.

Of another of his books – The Burton Boys, he spent years researching and would even travel to France to look at the battle grounds.

One of Vicky’s favourite memories of her father was at his book-signing at The Wetmore Whistle for Rock This Town, about the Burton music scene.

She said: “We went along to this book signing and it was just absolutely heaving with people – he was like a local celebrity. We never got to speak to him for about three hours.”

The family is surrounded by clippings of Rob from the Mail charting his work at Burton fire station’s museum which he championed after find dusty bits of memorabilia around giving a fascinating insight into the history of the station.

Rob was born in Blackpool Street in March 1960, attending Uxbridge Junior Mixed school, before passing his 11 Plus exams and joining Burton Grammar School.

He became a gas board engineer, and later joined the fire service at the age of 29.

It was here that he spent two years researching the history of the firefighters.

After retirement, Rob became involved in the brewing archive at the former Bass Museum.

His daughters say of him: “He was a Burton bloke, just a sound and thoughtful guy.”

His funeral will be held at 1.30pm tomorrow at Bretby Crematorium.

Donations can be made to Midlands Air Ambulance and Brain Tumour Research.

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