Paul Hamer Blackburn – A life well lived
On 6 November 2022, at the age of 88, Paul Hamer Blackburn’s remarkable journey drew to an end. He died in the comfort of his idyllic cottage home in West Wales. Born on 29 March 1934, in Heaton Moor, near Stockport, England, to William and Marjorie Blackburn, Paul was one of three brothers who would all go on to attend College. He was the epitome of charm, resilience and tenacity and had a boundless spirit of adventure.
He attended Manchester Grammar School in 1944 and moved from there to College in 1947. There he became a formidable presence on the sports field but particularly on the cricket pitch. He played in the College 1st XI for four years and captained it in 1952. He was a fast bowler and notably,
in 1951, took seven wickets against Clifton and, in 1952, six wickets against Repton. In 1951, the three Blackburn brothers, Martin, Paul and Robin, played in the 1st XI together.
After College, Paul won a scholarship to Emanuel College, Cambridge, where he studied engineering. As in College, he left an indelible mark on the cricket field, playing for the University against county XIs on three occasions.
Whilst Paul would have excelled at any sport, cricket remained his passion (and later golf). He continued to play cricket throughout his life and was a member of many cricket clubs, including the Free Foresters.
After graduating from Cambridge, Paul worked in India for the General Electric Company, installing power generation equipment. It was a country he loved and which strongly influenced him. He returned to England and in 1962 he married Judith. They had four children, Kate, Richard (OC), Emma, and Robert (OC).
Beyond the cricket pitch, Paul was a captivating storyteller. He had a natural flair for weaving narratives that enthralled listeners. His writings, whilst never published, captured family life and events in entertaining detail, highlighting his adeptness with words.
Paul was a very generous soul. He was a beacon of kindness and always keen to lend a helping hand; being involved with fund raising for community projects on numerous occasions. His life was a testament to the deeply ingrained values that shaped his character.
In the early 1970s, a series of unexpected events landed the Blackburn family in the Middle East, first in Kuwait and then Iran. Amid the rich cultural tapestry of the region, Paul kept himself gainfully employed until his business interests came to an abrupt end in 1979.
Returning to England at the time of the Iranian Revolution and after losing everything, Paul started again from scratch. His unbroken spirit prevailed. He remained steadfast and rebuilt his life without complaint, with the unwavering support of Judith. His dedication towards his family and friends in times of adversity exemplified the true measure of his character.
Paul’s life was woven with threads of adventure, resilience and love. He was a man who embraced Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ in the way he lived his life. His love for his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren was boundless. His infectious spirit and ‘joie de vivre’ were evident to everyone he met.
He is survived by his beloved wife Judith, four children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.