Frank Rowley

I READ with huge sadness your obituary of Frank Rowley (26 March).

He enjoyed wine and became increasingly knowledgeable on the subject, travelling with Sheila on motoring holidays through the wine regions of France. He also loved his rugby, and was quietly proud of his son, Steven, for his prowess on the pitch, without ever being boastful. Frank was musical. And fun. One of my enduring memories will be of him playing the piano with gusto at Steven’s wedding, and all the time laughing like a drain.

He was a man’s man, stalwart and upright, but a romantic to - gallant and mannerly, taking great interest and pleasure in Sheila’s achievements and surprising her with a wonderful trip to Rome for her birthday earlier this year.

Gardening was another favourite pastime. For many years he tended an allotment, over which I teased him mercilessly. He laughed along with me for, although he was able, diligent, committed, he possessed a wry sense of humour and a clear perspective on life. It was in his garden at Cranleigh, with Sheila by his side, that his fatal illness struck.

The Frank Rowley I have known for all my adult life is, perhaps, a different Frank Rowley from the sage arbitrator, the esteemed partner, the award-winning engineer recognised by many, but the Frank I remember I feel privileged to have known.