Dedication – Ron Richardson (1925 – 2016)

A dedication by Chris Lovibond to Ron Richardson (1925 – 2016), ‘The Ideal Clubman!

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Dedication – Ron Richardson (1925 – 2016)

Chris writes … For over eighty years Ron’s enthusiasm for cycling, especially club cycling, was a passion which sustained a long and remarkable life. He recalled his first interest being sparked at the age of ten, when he watched riders returning from Sunday club rides along the then new Great West Road near his parental home in Hounslow.

Here are his own words: “ The first thing that interested me was the bikes themselves and although there was a stream that seemed like thousands of riders, it was the bikes that held my attention. They were so varied: some quite ordinary, some battered wrecks, some polished jewels, just like a boy might dream of owning one day.”

It was another couple of years before he did much riding, but from the age of twelve, like many others, he began to use his bike for fishing trips, first to local gravel pits then further afield to places such as Cookham and Boulter’s Lock. This developed  into a desire to travel further and by 1941 he was touring in Wales.

At this point there was a ‘dalliance’ with a rival interest – motorbikes.  However, by1942 Ron had joined the Calleva Road Club and was set on a road he  would follow for more than seventy years. The Calleva was then a leading racing club, but it seems to have instilled a deep love of all aspects of the bike game in most  of its members. For Ron this meant time trialling and many long weekend rides, including the ‘Sutton Benger Ride’ which involved about 180 miles on a Sunday. Ron
recalled getting home at 10 pm in a stunned condition and only just managing to get  to work the next morning.

This activity was interrupted by National Service in 1944 when, as a telephone  engineer he was sent to Portsmouth to work at D Day HQ on, among other things, the ‘plotting tables’.

After the war he returned to the Calleva and his racing career continued  with them until the club folded up in the late nineteen fifties when he joined the  Hounslow and District Wheelers.

It can be said that it was with the Hounslow that he really came into his own. Not so much as a rider, but as an event organiser, committee man and, perhaps most important of all, as a mentor to aspiring racing men. Like all those who had been through the Calleva mill he had a deep knowledge of all things cycling, and this came with a natural ability to solve mechanical problems – a combination which was of great benefit to many Hounslow members.

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Now, in 2017, it has become hard to find anyone prepared to organise cycling events; this is one more reason to remember Ron’s presence with gratitude. Apart from continual low profile but vital work on every sort of club activity, Ron was the
promoter of thirteen Hounslow 100’s (1966-70,72,73, 85,86 and 2004-7) and six Hounslow road races.

Although cycling was important for Ron, it was only part of a long life rich in other activities. Sixty-three years of successful marriage to Jan produced Caroline, Kate and Rob who have all benefitted from parental knowledge, but to give just one example: Sam, his grandson has spoken movingly about how much he learnt from Ron restoring the pre-war BSA 250 motorbike which had lived for decades in a tea chest. This is the passing on of ‘intellectual capital’ which every parent (and grandparent) should hope to do.

He was always happier when giving rather than taking, and while not a great champion as a competitor, he was a true champion clubman. Ron, who died Tuesday, 27th September 2016, is survived by Jan, their three children, and grandchildren Jamie, Sam, Ellen and Luke.



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