Tributes flood in to Tat – a true legend of Cainscross

TRIBUTES have been flooding in for much-loved brother, uncle, great-uncle and long serving committee member at Cainscross Rugby Club, Terry ‘Tat’ Blick, who died on September 12 at the age of 86.

Terry was a popular figure in the Cainscross area, who still liked to jive, ride his motorbike and run the line at rugby matches well into his 80s.

He was an invaluable and active member of Cainscross Rugby Club, and was said to know everybody and everything about CRFC.

Born to parents Hilda and Fred, Terry was one of five siblings – Leonard, Marian, John, Carole and Desmond.

Terry was born in the family home on Bridge Street in Cainscross and lived his whole life in the same house.

A bright kid, he went to Marling School, where he enjoyed playing sports but sustained injuries which prevented him from playing rugby after leaving school.

After school he joined Hoffmans aerospace bearings factory at Stonehouse, where he worked as an inspector.

He stayed until he was 58 at which point the company computerised its operations and staff were required to learn how to use the new equipment.

Terry didn’t want to switch to computers and took early retirement instead.

A confirmed bachelor, Terry enjoyed the freedom that single life afforded him, but he also cared deeply about his family and friends.

He was very generous and often treated his family members to outings and holidays.

He loved rugby, and although unable to play himself, all his friends played for Cainscross, so he got involved in the club and became an invaluable and very active member.

He carried out numerous voluntary roles over the years, including marking out the pitch, putting the flags out, running the touch line and making a large platter of cheese and onion sandwiches and an urn of tea for the players when they came off the field.

For many seasons Terry travelled around the country on the club’s away trips, hardly missing a match. He also went to Barbados a few times with Frocester Cricket Club.

Terry and his brother John played skittles together for 51 years and they also had allotments together.

“We had a couple of chairs up there, and we used to sit and chat after working the allotments,” said John.

Terry’s speciality was growing onions, and his produce won many competitions.

He loved motorbikes and bought a Yamaha, which he was still riding after his 80th birthday.

Cainscross RFC president Mick Minnett said: “Terry was a good chap, always smiling. He loved nature, and one of his favourite places was the canal tow path.

“He was always telling me what he’d seen, such as particular birds and deer.

“He always made sure the ground at the club was right and the pitch was marked out, he took it very seriously.”

Ann Platt is landlady at the Old Crown at Ebley, where Terry was a regular for the last 15 years. She remembers jiving to rock and roll music with Terry in the pub, up until six months before he died.

“Terry came in every night at 9.40pm and left at 11.30pm, saying he had to go home as he had a date with his duvet, and that if he didn’t get to bed before midnight then it would be the next day. He said that every night.

“All the youngsters loved him, everybody loved him.

“He’s very, very missed.”

Good friend Shane Healey is one of those who enjoyed Terry’s company at the Old Crown.

He said: “Tat would visit every evening except skittles night. You could set your watch by him, every evening he would walk from his house in Cainscross and arrive at the pub at 9.30pm.”

Shane said there was lots of laughter and Terry would talk about local history and stories from his life.

“From Tat learning to swim in the lock on the canal at Cainscross to the American soldiers marching past his house during the Second World War not knowing where they were going until later realising that they had been on their way to the south coast to board ships to join the allied forces in the assault of D-Day,” he said.

“I will always remember his little catch phrases of which he had many. On asking him how he was, ‘I’m upright and above ground’ he would reply. On buying a drink he would toast ‘Here’s to our mum’s second eldest’. There were many more. A true local legend!

CRFC veteran Rob Hale said: “Tat was a truly nice man, and I enjoyed his company immensely. I used to regularly drink with him on a Sunday evening along with my dad John Hale, Mike Elliott and Derek Pimm. It would always be full of laughter and banter.”

The funeral service will take place at St Matthew’s Church, Cainscross at 1pm on Saturday.

Due to current restrictions this will be for family only. The funeral procession will be leaving Bridge Road at 12.40pm and the family will be walking behind the coffin to the church.

Anyone wishing to pay their respects is welcome to line the route.

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