A FOREST-born scientist who had a community theatre named after him at his old school has died peacefully at the age of 91.

Bob Blake was one of Monmouth School for Boys’ biggest supporters, and helped fund the 500-seat theatre which bears his name.

Mr Blake, who had a twin sister Margaret, grew up in Cinderford and went on to study chemistry at Oxford University before a career in the pharmaceuticals industry.

He has been described as “a wonderful ambassador for the school”, supporting the rebuilding of the school hall as the state-of-the-art Blake Theatre which opened its doors in 2005, and has hosted shows by the likes of Robert Plant, Eddie Izzard and most recently Wales rugby legends Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton.

He also donated Chemistry, Music and CCF prizes every year at Speech Day and funded a choral scholarship in memory of Old Monmothian, Paul Langford, at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he himself studied.

Second Master at Monmouth School for Boys, Simon Dorman, said: “Mr Blake’s generosity for Monmouth School for Boys has been outstanding for many years and we are all very saddened by the news.

“It was always a pleasure to speak to Mr Blake and hear his warmth and affection for the school, the staff and the pupils.”

Mr Blake, who grew up in the Forest, joined Monmouth School in 1938 and travelled daily from Cinderford by bus.

He won a form prize every year, thanks to his work ethic and excellent memory.

As captain of rugby, he had a particularly fond recollection of defeating Welsh rivals Llandovery 33-0 in 1945, the school’s first game since the second year of World War II.

He also had a strong passion for cricket and enjoyed listening to choral music.

Mr Blake spent two years in Winchester on National Service after leaving school, where he was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and had three-and-a-half years in the Territorial Army where he taught a fellow serviceman to read and write.

After university, Mr Blake took up a position with Proctor & Gamble in the pharmaceuticals industry where he worked for 35 years in Kent, Manchester and latterly Essex until his retirement at the age of 60.

On the advice of his wife Valerie, who died in 1994, Mr Blake made “an extremely generous donation” to the chapel at Lincoln College, which has a memorial for his wife in recognition of his gift.

Similarly, a glass memorial is dedicated to Mr Blake’s wife in Monmouth School for Boys’ Chapel.

His advice to young Old Monmothians was “share your knowledge and your kindness and make the most of every opportunity. Talk to people – give them your time – they will respond to you.”

Fond of quoting Chaucer, Mr Blake’s memory and knowledge remained intact until his final days.

As well as his twin sister, Mr Blake also had two older brothers Peter and fellow OM Stanley.

In his final years, he was looked after by his friend and carer Stephen Protheroe.

Mr Blake passed away at his Monmouth home on Wednesday, September 18.

A memorial service will take place at Monmouth School for Boys’ Chapel on Friday, October 11 at 2pm, followed by refreshments at the school’s Hitchcock Pavilion.