A personal tribute by Ion Castro to Ron Fellows, a friend, colleague and contributor to ‘Hastings Town’.
Ron Passed away in St.Michael’s Hospice on 15th July 2011 after a short illness and his funeral took place at Hastings Cemetery on 28th July.
I’ve only known Ron for about 20 years or so, I first formally met Ron as a member of the Hastings Local History Workshop as it was then, but I’d seen him at classic car shows with his beloved Jaguar that today he’d have owned for over 35 years.
Ron was involved with all sorts of groups in Hastings and the surrounding area, he was President of the Hastings Trolleybus Restoration Group, treasurer of the Hastings Local History Group, he was a guide at Hastings Lifeboat and last remaining founder Member of the Royal Sussex Association, life member of the Hastings & St.Leonards Museum Association, Life Member of Burtons’ St Leonards, a member of the Old Hastings Preservation Society, a member of the Wetlands Trust, a member of local Jaguar and MG owners clubs, Hooe’s Old Motor Club and probably quite a few more clubs and associations as well.
Ron was a Hastinger through and through having been born in Hardwicke Road, Halton, just off Old London Road, on 21st November 1932 and, apart from being posted overseas during his National Service, Ron had lived in Hastings all his life and had a great love of his town with a faint condescension to those who weren’t lucky enough to have been born here. Ron’s intimate knowledge of Hastings and its history and his willingness to share that knowledge will be sorely missed. Ron idolised his grandfather, William James Fellows even though he had died before Ron was born. W.J. had been Mayor of Hastings in the 1920’s and Ron felt that fact made so much of Hastings’ modern history ‘personal’.
For years and years Ron used to call on me on Thursday mornings on his way to or from the Lifeboat or from the barber’s – always the barber, never hairdresser – until his health made it very difficult to climb my front steps, but he never complained, he merely explained that some things were becoming more difficult.
It didn’t stop him complaining about other people’s driving though, or some perceived error of the local authority, or someone not knowing the correct name for some feature of his beloved Hastings – Ron could be irritating, pedantic, and his was the only way of doing anything properly but that was Ron, and he was probably right anyway. My children nicknamed Ron ‘Mr Pounds Shillings & Pence’, because of his habit of converting decimal back to LSD – 7/6 for a second class stamp for example. Ron was an old fashioned gentleman and generous to a fault, would do anything for anyone. People like Ron don’t disappear, they live on in our memories, Ron wasn’t a religious man but he had the charity of thought and deed that any Christian would be proud of and the world is a better place for his passing through it.
So ‘Ron’s Gone’ – where does the headline come from? As I recall, many years ago Ron had seen it as a headline on some newspaper referring, I think, to the departure of football manager Ron Atkinson and from that moment our Ron decided that he wanted it as an epitaph, and wanted it to be seen in print.
Ron, it was a pleasure and a privilege to have known you and to count you as a friend.
From the Sept 2011 issue of “Hastings Town”
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