Tributes to a ‘modest genius’ and ‘gentleman’

The late Robert Carter.
The late Robert Carter.

Ribble Valley man Robert Carter, who was the main designer behind a torch which is the guiding light behind a campaign to improve the mental health, wellbeing and working life of those working in the emergency and essential services, has died aged 60.

Bob was the son of late artist and businesswoman Sheila Carter and former Royal Marine Sgt Ron Carter.

The late Robert Carter with his daughter Flo.

The late Robert Carter with his daughter Flo.

Their family home and business was the Trapp Forge at Simonstone which is now run by one of Bob’s brothers Bill Carter.

The main designer behind the Our Blue Light Torch – Bob’s creation has been at the forefront of the UK Mental Health Relay which aims to raise awareness of and encourage people to talk about the mental health issues they face – particularly those who work in the police, fire, ambulance, search and rescue and prison service as well as the NHS.

After attending Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, Bob was presented with the Marconi prize for his BSc in physics gaining the highest ever recorded marks.

He then went on to study for a Phd in physics and electronics before securing a job working as a designer for Seimens.

Bob’s co-worker Martyn Williamson paid tribute to his closest friend.

“Bob worked for Siemens at Congleton for 29 years designing electronics which are now used by millions across the world.

“At the request of his managing director, he was a member of ‘complete and utter chaos’ Sandbach High School for Girls’ electric racing car team for 10 years volunteering at evenings and weekends.

"With Bob’s knowledge and encouragement they won the green power national championship on more than one occasion and were world champions.

“Bob’s work supported the development of green powered cars and encouraged girls to study engineering and science.”

Paying tribute to her brother, Bob’s sister Vicky, who runs Carter Leisure in Clitheroe, said: “Bob was an amazingly modest genius, we were lucky to have him. He was a true gentleman.”

As well as gaining 18 patents for his design work in the last two years, Bob, who has one daughter Flo Carter, was also building an electric land speed record car which he had nearly completed.

A remembrance service for Bob will be held in St John’s Church, Read, at 1pm. on Monday.