Reginald Hooper Brimblecombe
DescriptionReginald was described by some as a lovely man with a great sense of humour. Born at No. 6, Portlock Road, Maidenhead, he was one of eight children of house painter Ernest Hooper Brimblecombe (1872-1937) and his wife Annie Rose (1873-1953); Ernest Arthur (1894-1976); Edgar (1896-1975); Alice Dorothy Rose (b 1899); Lillian May (b 1901); Violet Annie (b. 1903); Edith Constance (b. 1905); William. The family later moved to Sudbury in Suffolk. His father and two older brothers served in the army in France during the First World War.
The Brimblecombes then moved to Wokingham where Reginald's parents ran the Two Poplars public house in Finchampstead Road and the Queen's Head public house on The Terrace.
Reginald started work in the silk mills but he soon found motor mechanics more interesting and spent every spare moment underneath a car or under a bonnet.
In 1926 he and his younger brother William founded Brimblecombe Bros. Motor Garage, Eddystone Garage, with premises at 70 and 70a Finchampstead Road, which provided coaches and private car hire services. Reginald was chief mechanic and was always to be found in the garage tinkering with a motor. The Eddystone Lighthouse was painted on the back of each coach because their father was born within sight of it.
Brimblecombe Bros. also had a coach depot in peach Street next to and behand, Henry Bower & Son Corn Merchants. Their last coach depot was located in Barkham Road behind Wokingham Hospital.
Reginald married Eileen Lucy nee Lailey (1913-1981) in February 1941. They had two children, Rosemary Anne (b. 1941), now Mrs. Hearmon, and John (1946-1986) who died from leukaemia at the age of forty. Both were involved in Brimblecombe Bros. business.
Eileen almost became a Wokingham beauty queen. Unfortunately the Second World War intervened and the competition was cancelled. She was Mayoress when Reginald was elected Mayor in 1954. After a long illness she died in April 1981 at the age of 68.
During his Mayoral term of 1954 Reginald joined wholeheartedly into the Wokingham Carnival fun. According to the Reading Mercury, the Mayor was – hauled up on to a platform and given a treatment that looked – even if it was not – very uncomfortable for him. A bunch of raggers, using and outsize wooden razor and a whitewash brush, gave him a shave that he will not easily forget. Among other discomforts he experienced was one that would have gladdened the heart of Sweeney Todd. The mayoral throat was efficiently “cut” and the red velvet used for effect proved a satisfactory substitute for what in serious circumstances would have been blood. Hardly had he recovered from this “onslaught” than he found himself being escorted to the borough boundary for the ceremony of the beating of the bounds and received a hearty bumping beside the boundary post in Sandhurst Road.
Reginald died in the Sue Ryder Home, in Nettlebed, on Sunday, 12th July 1987 at the age of 79. His funeral took place at Easthampstead Park Crematorium. Brimblecombe Close, off Toutley Road, was named in his memory.
SourceFormer Mayors of Wokingham from 1947 - 1979, by J Bell.
“Reginald Hooper Brimblecombe,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed December 13, 2019, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0116.