Arthur Ronald Williams, born 25.9.1914, died April 1991 Ross. Ghillie (for The Royal Hotel) and Waterman. Married 1956 St. Dubricius to Barbara Mary Beard. Lived at Erwarton, Washings Lane, Symonds Yat West.
Liked his beer and whisky, played cribbage, always active and helpful, a good neighbour, friend and story teller.
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All thanks to John Blows for making the original recordings available and for the information about Ron and to Ron’s son Darryl for the photos.
I wish we could do the same for all the many other characters who’s memory is already fading or lost forever yet contributed to our local history.
You can hear Ron’s own voice recalling some of his memories about his job as a waterman and other local things from days gone by, by clicking on the arrow link below.
Ron Williams recorded these memories years ago on an old Sony Walkman tape recorder. John purchaced a special player to hear these recordings again and to convert them to a digitized version. There was a lot of work for me to do to convert the 7 separate tracks on 4 or 5 cassets recordings from WAV format to MP3, join then together and finally clean them up to remove clicks, pauses, snuffles, coughs etc together with the general noise produced from early tape recorders. Unfortunately, in the transition from an old laptop to a new one, the final, more polished version was lost. I hope it wont spoil your experience.
Once it was quite normal for the coffin of the deceased to be carried by boat from Symonds Yat to
St Dubricius church in Whitchurch. In this case most of the courtege seems to be going as well.