Jake (Nobby) Hall
Jake was born on 12 July 1931 in the Royal Infirmary in Preston, one of two children of Dick and Winnie. He was raised alongside his sister Ida and attended school in Freckleton and Kirkham Grammar School. The family had moved to Wheelton and, despite suffering with asthma as a child, Jake went into farming with his dad. His sister Ida tells us that as a lad Jake was always getting into mischief. He and his friends would climb the trees near the local RAF camp and pinch the servicemen's hats. He was was a very spirited child, who was thought by his great niece Lydia to be musical!
In 1949 Jake enlisted in the Fleet Air Arm, which is one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy and responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. He completed six years of service but, before leaving in 1956, he met Audrey at the Regent ballroom in 1955.
Being stationed nearby meant he could go home most weekends and so, having courted for awhile, the happy couple got engaged on Christmas Eve 1956 and they married in August 1957 and went to live in Preston.
Having left the Fleet Air Arm, Jake took up employment at BAC in Warton and, to further his career, he attended night school to obtain his HNC. He commenced work in the 18 inch wind tunnel and, later, in the 9 x 7 wind tunnel and along the way became Senior Project Supervisor.
One of his co-workers said of Nobby (as he was known to them) that he was a very conscientious worker, well respected by them all and that he really loved his job. Just as Jake gave it all to his work, he also gave a lot to rallying!
He and Audrey became stewards officiating at staging points, and this love of fast cars spilled over into a liking for Formula One. Jake had always been interested in engines and how they performed, so some great trips out to watch the racing at Silverstone, Alton Park and Aintree have been enjoyed.
In 1978 Audrey and Jake bought a touring caravan and caravanning became a great love for them. Many a holiday together and with his family and friends followed. Hillary recalls that she spent many a happy holiday with Incle Jake and Auntie Audrey and that she recalls very clearly being their bridesmaid. Jake's love of caravan holidays remained with him, with his last holiday being just two weeks before his unexpected passing.
Another hobby of Jake's was his membership of the Chorley Wine Circle, making wine for many years and enjoying meeting up with other members. Many a Saturday had been enjoyed watching cricket at Chorley Cricket Club.
Jake became a supporter of Burnley FC, especially so when Robert first started at the academy, and kept his interest in the club right up to the end. Uncle Jake will continue to be remembered with great fondness by his nephews and nieces Hilary, Paul, Stella, Karen and Stephen and by his great nephews and nieces and great great nephews and nieces. And Audrey no doubt will hold on to the wonderful memories shared over 62 years of marriage and the delight of receiving a card from the Queen when they celebrated their Diamond Wedding anniversary.
Nobby – an appreciation
I joined BAC in January 1967 in Wind Tunnel Department and did three months each in the 4’, 18”, 18’ and finally the 9’x7’ tunnels, where I stayed. I met Nobby and Tony Watson for the first time in the 18” in April 1967, when I remember Nobby getting a brand new Ford Corsair! Several years later the 18” tunnel was closed down and Nobby joined us in the 9’x7’. The photo here shows us with George Peel in Lucerne in August 1970, when we took MRCA Model 2 to Emmen for high-alpha tests.
We all got along famously in the 9x7 and most of us still meet up, all these years later: Clive Russell, Nobby Hall, Kathy Green, Clive Bell, George Corner, Les Green and me.
In later years, we became part of a sixsome: me, Nobby and Tony Watson with our wives Pamela, Audrey and Eileen. We’ve met for lunches at various places every couple of months for many years now, but sadly we are now a vital member short.
Whenever I met Nobby he’d have a beaming, welcoming smile and a firm, friendly handshake that showed he was really pleased to see you. He was always warm and friendly, so easy to relax and chat to about anything at all. I have never known anyone easier to get on with and I really can’t think I’ve ever met a nicer person. I, along with very many others, will miss him greatly.