Fr Patrick writes…
The funeral for David Bradnock took place on 3rd December 2021. The service had to be at St Alphege Solihull, as St Mary’s Lapworth was not big enough. The singing was led by the Birmingham Canoldir Male Choir, of which David was President. Several tributes were made particularly remembering David’s roles as County President for Birmingham Scouts, as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands with ambassadorial role for Solihull, as a JP and chair of the Birmingham Bench of Magistrates 2000-2006, as an interlocutor for the Royal College of Defence Studies and as President of the Solihull Centre of the National Trust. There were personal tributes from family members and the following tribute, given by me.
David was born in Birmingham in 1943. He had a happy childhood, going to school in Moseley. His initial plan was to follow his father into the watches and clocks trade; horology. He studied hard and at the age of 22 became a Fellow of the British Horological Institute, one of the youngest ever, apparently getting 98% on the final exam! He joined a watch and jewellery business. He had the opportunity to move to Switzerland to work in the research department of a Swiz watch company. It was an outstanding opportunity, but by this time he had got to know Margaret Jones and he did not go. Margaret was only 15 when David first met her. It was an old-fashioned style courtship with everything done very properly. David spent a lot of time with the Jones household, and was courting not just her, but her whole Jones family.
By 1967 enough money had been saved for a deposit on a house. David and Margaret married and moved to Marston Green. Margaret was now 20.
David was close to whole Jones family and in 1970 Margaret’s father Henry, always known as HV Jones, took David into his family business and David’s work became focused on the design of large-scale heating systems for commercial premises. David and Margaret were blessed with two daughters, first Laura and then Alexa. The family moved to Lapworth and got involved with the Lapworth community, not least St Mary’s Lapworth and the WI. David became a magistrate sitting at the Victoria Law Courts in Birmingham.
HV and David made a good team in the business, but sadly HV died very unexpectedly and David suddenly became responsible for the business. David ran the business as Managing Director for many years. Eventually the business merged with SMS. David continued as a consultant, but now had more time for voluntary service, especially for his work as a magistrate at the Victoria Law Courts, Birmingham. David was well respected as a magistrate. His bench was characterised not so much by a high fluting education but by well grounded, practical common sense. He treated people with dignity, trying to sort out the true villains from the merely unfortunate.
Family life continued. It was not without its challenges. Daughter Laura has significant learning difficulties and the need to care for her kept the family focused on the most important things, and no doubt contributed to that practical common sense which is so important.
In 2000 David became chair of the Birmingham bench of magistrates. As chair he became a very public figure and Margaret and David found that they enjoyed this more high-profile role, and especially the ambassadorial duties and opportunities that came with it. They attended a huge variety of events and got to know a very diverse set of people. They visited many places of worship, not just churches but also temples, synagogues, gurdwaras, and mosques. Many lifelong friendships were formed. Many new opportunities for voluntary service to the community were opened up.
The family moved to Baddesley Clinton, where David joined the Parish Council, although the family continued to worship at St Mary’s Lapworth. David had embraced the Deputy Lord Lieutenant role and was becoming more and more involved in voluntary service. He was always on the lookout for people to fill voluntary roles in organisations that he was involved with. And he could be very persuasive! He described himself as a professional beggar! He helped many people and organisations in this way. He was a great ambassador and promoter for the organisations that he supported. He promoted Solihull. He promoted St Mary’s, Lapworth. He was not afraid to promote himself and his own roles.
In 2016 David started to have health difficulties, which became more limiting in 2019. He did a lot of work from home and he remained positive. There was a brief moment in the spring of 2021 when his health was looking better, but sadly cancer then took hold. David spent his last days in the Marie Curie Hospice, Solihull, which he had visited in an official capacity with the Duke of Kent at its beginnings several years earlier. David died on 2nd November 2021.
We are grateful to David for his many contributions to St Mary’s Lapworth. David served on the Lapworth Parochial Church Council (PCC) from 1980 until his death. He was Churchwarden for 25 years (1986-2011) overseeing many important projects including stonework replacement projects, renovation of a stained-glass window and refurbishment of the organ. He was a trustee of local charities including the Lapworth Charity, the Lapworth Old School Trust and the Melson Memorial Trust. He was a long serving member of the Men of Lapworth Evening Society (MOLES). David also contributed to the Diocese of Birmingham, most notably as a Diocesan Trustee and as a horological (clock) adviser to the Diocesan Advisory Committee. May he rest in peace.