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In Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2004 appeared the name Robert Yule Simpson. The founder and chairman of Rockvale Rebound, better known to all his friends as Bobby, he had been awarded the M.B.E., or, more properly, he had been created a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to Talking Newspapers in Scotland.
Having conceived the idea that such a service would benefit many people in the Strathleven area, Bobby then adopted a life style which was to see him heavily involved in the whole T.N. concept. In September of 1980 he gathered around him a steering group and guided them through all the aspects of setting up such a service, which resulted in the inauguration of what was to become Rockvale Rebound in April of 1981. Later that year he was invited to attend the inaugural meeting of the Forth Valley Talking Newspaper and, since he had so recently been in a similar position, he was able to give much sought after advice. A few years afterwards, he was again on a steering committee, this time to promote the setting up of a similar service in Clydebank, the ‘Clydebank Newsline’, then again in 1985 he was able to offer assistance in the Bearsden and Milngavie area by outlining the potential pitfalls and also offering the use of equipment in order to get ‘Beam’ started up, all the while working towards the improvement and expansion of the Rockvale Rebound.
Bobby was further able to promote the concept of Talking Newspapers,by being interviewed several times by the BBC, Radio Clyde, as well as the then local radio station, Castlerock 103. He appered on Reporting Scotland, Scotland Today and was the main guest at a televised press conference which took place in the strathclyde Police headquarters in Pitt Street, Glasgow, but was most delighted when he was invited to appear on the Itv programme, ‘Highway’, which was, at the time, hosted by the late Sir Harry Secombe, that particular edition ending with Sir Harry at the top of Dumbarton Castle Rock singing the hymn, Be Still My Soul as a special request to Bobby.
Bobby and his wife, Pat, had attended the Royal Garden Party at Holyrood Palace on three occasions, and in October, 2004 accompanied by their daughter, Kirsty and son, Robert they set out for London and Buckingham palace itself. The investiture was held in the State Ballroom of the Palace, which must be one of the most opulent buildings in the country, and it was there that Bobby was presented with the medal by Her Majesty the Queen, herself,assisted by the Lord Chancellor and with five members of the Yeomen of the Guard and two NCO’s from the Ghurka Regiment in attendance, a most thrilling experience. Bobby remembers that Her Majesty was graciousness itself and congratulated him on “the amount of work he had done and the manner in which he had carried it out, despite his affliction”.
All of us are very proud of our chairman, Bobby and his achievements.