Tributes have been paid to a “cheeky, lovely and friendly” mechanic who ran his own business for nearly 50 years.

Bob Beeby opened his own garage on Gold Street in March in 1970, having finished an apprenticeship at the former Peck & Packer site on Dartford Road.

Bob died aged 76 earlier this month.

His wife Christine said: “I liked him as soon as I saw him. He was cheeky, lovely and a nice man.”

%image(15852801, type="article-full", alt="Bob left school aged 15 before getting onto an apprenticeship.")

Born on December 17, 1944 at March Maternity Home, Bob attended the Burrowmoor and Hereward schools in town before leaving school at the age of 15.

He then joined Peck & Packer Ltd to take on an apprenticeship for around five years, before deciding to launch his own business.

“I don’t think there was anyone in the family that was that way inclined into mechanics,” Angela, Bob’s sister, said.

“Bob prided himself on good work, got several customers at his garage and I think it was mainly through word of mouth.”

%image(15852803, type="article-full", alt="Bob opened his own mechanics business in Gold Street, March in 1970 and stayed there throughout his career.")

%image(15852804, type="article-full", alt="Bob married Christine (left) after meeting at the former Great Northern pub in March.")

During his time on Gold Street, Bob trained young engineers with some running their own businesses, including Adam Sutton who runs a garage on Norwood Road.

Angela recalled her brother was one who took great care in whatever job came his way.

“He hated cowboys because they were so dangerous,” she said.

%image(15852806, type="article-full", alt="Bob Beeby was also a fan of motorcycles, as well as cars.")

“A car is a lethal weapon and if you don’t do the job properly, you could end up killing somebody.”

Christine first met Bob, a keen member of March Amateur Boxing Club, at the former Great Northern pub in March where he used to play darts.

From his time in and outside of work, Bob was known to many in the town.

“Every time we went shopping, he spoke to someone,” said Christine.

“If we went to Tesco, he was always meeting someone. He was just a friendly man.”

%image(15852808, type="article-full", alt="Bob's sister Angela described him as "a good brother and a well-liked man".")

%image(15852809, type="article-full", alt="Bob Beeby also took part in grasstrack racing outside of his career as a mechanic.")

Angela said Bob, who retired in his early seventies and also took part in grasstrack racing events, was always one to stick up for family when it mattered most.

“He was a good brother; we got on well and he would stick up for me and I would do the same,” said Angela.

“I think he was a well-liked man and he was not pushed by anyone.”

%image(15852811, type="article-full", alt="Bob Beeby (left) was a keen boxer and was a member of March Amateur Boxing Club as a child.")

Bob leaves two sisters, two children and three grandchildren.

A service at Fenland Crematorium will take place on September 27 at 2.30pm followed by a wake at Cassanos on March High Street.