Widow of Thame’s very own Bee Gee pays heartfelt thanks to town

Unveilling of a blue plaque in honour of the late Robin Gibb, outside his home at The Prebendal inThame - pictured is Robins wife Dwina and son Robin-John unveilling the plaque
Unveilling of a blue plaque in honour of the late Robin Gibb, outside his home at The Prebendal inThame - pictured is Robins wife Dwina and son Robin-John unveilling the plaque

Dwina Gibb has thanked Thame for its support after the unveiling of a blue plaque in honour of her late husband Robin.

The event at the Gibb’s home, The Prebendal, attracted more than 600 people including an array of celebrities such as Sir Tim Rice, Peter Andre and former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read.

Unveilling of a blue plaque in honour of the late Robin Gibb, outside his home at The Prebendal inThame - pictured is Jess Conrad, Nicholas Parsons and Vicki Michelle

Unveilling of a blue plaque in honour of the late Robin Gibb, outside his home at The Prebendal inThame - pictured is Jess Conrad, Nicholas Parsons and Vicki Michelle

Mrs Gibb said: “Obviously it was a sad occasion, because Robin would have much rather seen a green plaque there, meaning he was alive.

“But I’m so happy Thame and the Heritage Foundation decided to honour Robin in such a way. It’s lovely that the plaque is here for everyone to see when they come over to see the grave.”

Mrs Gibb added that the event drew in fans from across the globe and as far afield as Canada, Japan, Chile and Poland.

“We were really touched so many people turned up to the occasion, and so many of Robin’s fans left little tokens in his memory, which we’ve gathered up to rescue them from the rain.

“We’ve put them inside Robin’s private chapel in the Prebendal, which is like a shrine to him.

“We were worried some people might come back and think someone had taken their things.

“There were messages left in so many different languages – luckily, I have a friend who speaks 14 different languages who translated the messages to me, so I was able to read them.

“I think there’s a lot of people out there who miss him now; and we miss him the most. But each day it gets better.

“But his family, friends and fans are all in mourning. It’s not just us – it’s the whole world. It’s extraordinary.”

Mrs Gibb said the family has recently received a ‘get well’ card addressed to Robin from a fan in Bali. As the card had been made out to ‘Robin Gibb, in a hospital in England’, it had made its way around the country until it was eventually posted to the Gibbs.

She added: “It was a bit sad to receive, but it’s lovely to have so much support all over the world –

it certainly helps.”

The plaque ceremony was organised by the Heritage Foundation, of which Robin was a past president, and Thame Town Council.

The event took place on Sunday at around 2pm, with speeches to the crowds by Sir Tim Rice and Mike Reed. Dwina and Robin’s son Robin-John unveiled the plaque.

This was followed by a tea party by paid entry, the funds from which were donated to The Bomber Command Memorial Maintenance Appeal Fund, which Robin spent many years raising money for.

As a result of Robin’s fundraising, the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park is now the most visited place in London by tourists apart from Buckingham Palace, says Mrs Gibb.

She added: “All the funds were put to the bomber fund, as that’s how Robin lived his life.

“Right up until the end, Robin was fighting for things. He fought for so many causes.

“And now, people from all over the world come to see the Bomber Command Memorial.”

Since Robin’s death, thousands of his fans have called for him to be knighted posthumously.

So far, there have been two Facebook campaigns set up, a website and a petition in favour of the cause.

Campaigners say that while knighthoods are not awarded posthumously under British law, they hope the fact Mr Gibb was alive when the application process was started for him by his family and John Leech MP, will help the cause.

Commenting on this, Mrs Gibb said: “I think it’s a great thing they’re doing, but I don’t think knighthoods are given posthumously. I do, however, think it’s a lovely thing for people to do – one never knows with these things.

“He may well be given some sort of special award for all the charity work he’s done.

“The brothers raised so much money for charity over the years. They donated a song to Children of the World, which was something started by Sir David Frost for Unicef.

“Over the many years, every penny that song made went to it.

“It made about £20 million altogether. Very few groups out there would do that.”

Robin died aged 62 from kidney failure in May after suffering from cancer and pneumonia. A funeral attended by an array of stars took place in Thame in June.