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Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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The University of Bolton has paid tribute to honorary doctor Roy Brooks, who died at 94.
Roy was a distinguished motoring correspondent who contributed to many newspapers over the years, including the Bury and Radcliffe Times.
In July 2014, he received a Higher Doctorate from the University in 2014 for his "outstanding contribution to automobile engineering" in 2014. It is the highest academic distinction available within any UK university.
Roy was born in 1929 and was called up for the army, spending most of his service in the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers. There, he took advantage of a first class education in motor vehicle maintenance, and eventually he became an instructor at the REME Workshops in Burscough, Lancashire.
After leaving the army, Roy worked as a mechanic in a Rootes Group dealership, and during that time, he continued his studies in evening classes at Bolton Technical College. He was asked to teach evening classes at Rochdale Technical College, which led to him applying for a junior teaching post at Bolton Technical College.
Roy became a teacher and then head of Automobile Engineering at the then Bolton Technical College (now the University of Bolton), where he instigated the first Rolls-Royce Owners Drivers course of its type in the world.
An innovative and successful academic career included renowned publications such as the Vehicle Craft Series and the 'Brooks Books', from 1971.
He was a founder trustee of the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation, head of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club (RREC) Historical Research Team and Chair of the RREC Publication Committee. Roy was also International Chairman of the RREC 1988-1991; he was awarded RREC Life Membership in 2014.
He also worked at Bolton Technical Teachers' Training College from 1967 to 1985, specialising in short courses for Motor Vehicle teachers.
Roy wrote regular weekly columns in up to 32 weekly newspapers for more than 50 years and was a winner of the Pirelli Award for Best Weekly Motoring Column on three occasions. He also edited and wrote a number of motoring books, including a series aimed specifically at motor vehicle technicians, which remained in print, with revisions, for decades.
Professor George E Holmes DL, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton, said: "The whole University community is saddened to hear of Roy's passing. He was a great friend and supporter of the University of Bolton and the loveliest of men.
"He will be sadly missed, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to Roy's family and friends."