As we turn a corner into the road where he grew up with his parents, two brothers, two sisters and plenty of playmates, he recalls his childhood. "We knew all the neighbours and everybody looked out for one another," he saysThe whole article is in accord with the grazed knees and jumpers for goalposts ethos of this blog.
Most neighbourhoods are no longer like that, he admits, "which helps to explain why fear is spreading among adults about those children who are out on the streets, particularly the older ones. When I go on to estates, people complain about youngsters [but they are] doing nothing more than they themselves did at that age. Kids have always been noisy, just as teenagers have always 'hung around'. It only becomes frightening when you don't know them or their parents."
Rob was a stalwart of the old Liberal Party and, though I met him at the Lib Dem Conference a couple of years ago, I believe he is now a Liberal councillor in Kidderminster.
His name gave rise to one of Lord Bonkers' favourite birds - an honour it shares with the hamwee.