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Roger Smith

by PCW ~, 07 March 2009

We are sad to report the passing of Roger Smith, yesterday, after a long illness.

"Roger had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the local area which linked with his meticulous record keeping made him an invaluable reference point in Club affairs about land and conservation. He was involved in the purchase of the cottages, gardens, the Stump and contributed background info and advice during our more recent purchases. He would probably describe his greatest achievement as work that led to the setting up of the OFD National Nature Reserve.

In later life he continued to serve the Club as a Trustee and Vice President. A man of clear opinions, a gentleman, friend; recognised for his contribution to the life of the Club as an Honorary Member. He once told me that if it wasn't for the time spent caving in his younger days he may have got further in his chosen career, lucky for us he made the right choice." ~ Fred Levett

His funeral will be held at The Wenallt Chapel, Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff, CF14 9UA, on Friday 20th March at 2 pm. No flowers please - any donations to Myeloma UK ~ Barry Mawson

We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his widow Vicky, to Helen, Giles and Hilary and to the rest of his family.

"Sorry to hear the news about Roger. He was around a lot when I first started going to the club and remember how much work he put in in the background. A very quiet but lovely man." ~ Denise Knibbs

"It is largely thanks to Roger that large parts of OFD, as we know it, still exist. Back in the 1970s there were proposals to extend quarrying southwards as far as the end of No 1, along the back wall of the cottages, and a long way east into the area occupied by the cave. It was Roger who led the fight through all available channels, eventually winning every battle. To prevent any further proposals affecting the cave, he led the successful campaign for purchase of much of the land above OFD 2 and 3, by the (then) Nature Conservancy Council, and its subsequent designation as the UK's first underground National Nature Reserve.

Roger was an active caver and committee man when I joined the Club in the mid 60's and was always welcoming, with a friendly smile. I particularly remember a trip with him into the Canyon area in OFD, and it was Roger who vetted me for the OFD leader list. Subsequently when I was Chairman, his encylopaedic knowledge of land ownership issues, planning, etc., was of enormous help and, for some time afterwards, we continued to work closely together in relation to the OFD NNR.

Our paths also crossed professionally, and we spent some good times at Gregynog, the University of Wales conference centre near Newtown, in the company of others involved in the many facets of Electrical and Electronic Engineering across the various colleges of the University.

Roger always came over as having a quiet, calm and cheerful nature but he was also a formidable force when campaigning for the conservation of OFD. The Club has lost a very, very, nice man who was one of its most influential members." ~ Jem Rowland