MEMBERS of Stratford Boat Club are joining many in the community in mourning the loss of their president, coach and valued friend Felix Badcock.
The 79 year-old year-old died peacefully at home on Saturday January 10 after a few months of illness.
Felix was born in Kent and, after school in Harrow, started work in the family business building barges in what was then the Port of London.
In 1961 he married Jane, setting up home first in London and then Kent. In 1972, life and work brought him, his wife and their three children to Welford-on-Avon, where they went on to farm for over 30 years.
Five years later he became Local Scout Leader, then Group Scout Leader and finally Stratford District Commissioner – a position he held for many years. He rang the bells at St Peter’s Church in his home village, and more recently was one of the volunteer team staffing Bidford library.
As a teenager, Felix had spent many happy hours with his brother ‘messing about with boats’ on the River Thames, and it was a natural step to follow his father into rowing at Thames Rowing Club in Putney, London. He had a long and successful career with the club, rowing in the Thames Eight in the ‘Grand’ at Henley Royal Regatta for seven years, and sometimes doubling up in the Stewards’ Cup. In 1958 his crew won a Bronze for England at the Commonwealth Games in Wales.
He remained active in the world of rowing, becoming an International Selector in the 1960s, Captain of Thames and later Vice President.
Felix had not completely retired from competitive rowing, and took it up again, spending many happy hours on the Avon with his fellow veteran rowers.
His involvement with Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club started in 1980, first coaching his daughter and her school friends, and from there countless more junior and adult members.
His women’s coxed four of 2008/9 won both at Henley and at the National Championships. He is fondly remembered by the crew as dedicated, passionate and deeply committed to every aspect of the training. His love for the sport was infectious, and the time spent with this crew led to some very great rowing and life-long friendships with both Felix and his beloved wife Jane.
In 2010, he was awarded the British Rowing Volunteer of the Year Award, immediately nominating another Stratford volunteer for the same award the following year, a gesture typical of his selflessness, and in the London 2012 Olympics was a Games Maker at the rowing centre at Dorney Lake.
Felix is remembered by Stratford Boat Club as a gentle ‘Father’ of the Club. He was much loved and respected, and his tact and diplomacy meant he was always able to see both sides of any discussion. His wisdom, knowledge and experience were called upon on numerous occasions.
He leaves his wife Jane, children Dan, Tom and Louisa, and grandchildren Frances, Felix, Ben, Phoebe, Robert, Helen and Duncan.
A Service of Thanksgiving will be held at St Peter’s Church in Welford on Friday January 30, starting at 2pm. His family have requested no flowers, but would welcome donations to The Shakespeare Hospice (Hospice at Home).