With sorrow we share the news that Robert Vickers died on Friday. This is a huge loss to the society, and to all of Robert's many friends in YAHS. As the bad news circulated, there came a wave of admiration and appreciation, for all that he's done, and just for being a lovely man to know and work with. We hope that gives some comfort to his wife, Jill, whose loss is of course by far the greatest.
Robert's main enthusiasm was industrial history, particularly relating to motor vehicles. For many years he has been at the heart of the Industrial History Section, which he chaired, and for which he organised events such as the day school at Armley Mills in March. Above all, though, he'll be remembered by the society for two great achievements. One is YIHO, now called Industrial Heritage Online as, through Robert's contacts in Greater London and elsewhere, the project is expanding far beyond Yorkshire's boundaries. Less than two weeks ago, Robert was emailing about this: "IHO really does start to look national." It grew from Robert's dissatisfaction with the software available for an online map-based database - and now, thanks to his determination, IHO has its own, and is developing a national profile.
His other great work for the society is this very website, which he took a central part in developing. It launched in February after several years of gestation and many complexities. Robert was always there, working patiently through the process and dealing with the inevitable glitches and frustrations. The photo was taken in February at Purple Creative's office near Richmond, where Robert represented the society at the handover.
Robert had been increasingly unwell during the past months, and was in the process of handing over some responsibilities which were proving physically difficult. His aim was to keep going for as long as possible, working on his key projects for YAHS. There were hopes that he could continue for months or years longer. So it has come as a terrible shock that he's gone so soon. Robert was at work and emailing about IHO almost up to the last. He will be sorely missed.