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Ronald Waters (1930 - 1912)
The death of Ronald "Ron" Waters in December has deprived Marlow of one of its most loyal residents. Ron was instrumental in leading change, preserving our heritage, providing an objective analysis of problems and providing solutions.
A true cockney born in Shoreditch within hearing distance of Bow bells, Ron was moved by his parents to the fresher, healthier air of Burnt Oak in north London after he survived diphtheria when he was 3. He grew up in Tewksbury Gardens and attended Haberdashers Askes School where he played cricket and rugby and made life-long friends. After leaving school, like all young men of his generation, he did his National Service and it was while he was stationed at Woolwich that the young Lieutenant Waters met Mary Jean Jenkin (known to many as Jinks) on the platform of Woolwich Station. Mary waited whilst Ron served as a gunner in Egypt and they married on his return.
Despite loving the army and being a promising young officer, Ron preferred to return to civilian and family life with Mary and they later had two daughters Lesley and Carolyn. In 1962 Ron became a civil servant working for London Transport and in 1968 he moved to the Covent Garden Market Authority. In that organisation Ron was responsible for relocating Covent Garden Market from its historic West End site to Nine Elms and spent many evening hours poring over plans and maps as he supervised the move. After Covent Garden Ron once again, put family first in his choices and joined the planning department in South Bucks District Council. This decision equipped him with the knowledge and skills that he would later put to such good use in his work with the Marlow Society and his service to the community of Marlow.
Ron was an Elder of the United Reformed Church. His long term determination saw Christ Church in Oxford Road, Marlow through not one but many different redevelopment schemes starting in the 1980s. Ron and fellow church members finally completed the revitalisation of this building in 2003 since when it has provided the whole community of Marlow with a valuable social location for a multiplicity of valuable activities. He was rightly very proud of this achievement.
As Chairman of the Marlow Society for eleven years Ron deployed his experience and personality to ensure that Marlow retained its historic character whilst evolving as a vibrant town. His skills channelled the Marlow Society's desire to preserve this town and made it the effective voice it now is, much respected by the local planning bodies and councils. He worked closely with the District and Town Councils where his contribution was always valued. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude for quietly achieving so much. The appearance and vigour of the town today is a living testament to his works.
Whilst devoting much time to the town Ron always found time to enjoy the company of his many friends. He and Mary, who was always at his side, were active and popular members of the Marlow Folk Dance Club and the Budavar Society. A happy and convivial person, Ron was always a devoted family man whose pride in his daughters and grandchildren shone through. This very gentle Gentleman is greatly missed by all who knew him, many of whom gathered with Ron's family to say goodbye to him, and support his family at his funeral on December 18th at Christ Church.
Martin Blunkell and Harriet Wilson
with many thanks to Ron's family