Sadly I learned of the death of Ron Hayward on 15th December 2016 at the age of 88.
Ron was the oldest Southborough Wheeler and the longest serving. He was a Vice President, Past President and a Life Member of the Club. He had served in many official positions during his active days.
Ron joined in 1949 and always remained true to the club with no breaks in membership. He was active on club runs, youth hostel trips etc. in early days, but was always best known as a racing man. He did some track racing in the 1940s and 1950s, was an early participant in road racing when it started in the area in the 1960s, but was best known as a time trialist throughout. He was very successful at club and county level and held a number of club records.
He married Dawn, also a racing girl, and had a daughter Lesley. Later, he had a second daughter, Jacqueline with his second wife, Veronica.
It was at the age of 50, that his continuous racing career came to an abrupt end with the onset of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which made him very ill at first. With the careful nursing from Veronica and his own positive determination, he improved enough to have his original leg irons removed, rendering him able to walk with a stick. I remember how pleased he was to be able to climb the stairs to the new clubroom (opened 1990) for the first time.
Always keen to follow the club’s racing scene, he would be driven out to watch events at first and then took to organising refreshments at tea bars. With Veronica’s very capable cooking abilities, they ran the old clubroom catering and then endless tea bars at the headquarters of open events at all the Kent courses.
Yearning to ride a bike again, he bought an electric trike and started. Finding he could turn the pedals to help the motor, he regained strength in his legs. So much so that he was determined to get an ordinary trike. Geoff Abraham had assisted him a lot with the electric version and now with the “real thing”. Ron continued to improve. He could now drive again. He cycled regularly – mainly on flat roads and would take the trike in his van. He continued this for most of the rest of his life and was last active when he rode to meet the Wednesday Wobblers at Hadlow (close to his home). This was probably in 2014. In 2015 or early 2016, he called again though now driven by Veronica.
He was an example to us all with his determination to enjoy life, even with his MS.
He was always cheerful and optimistic with a ready wit.
He will be greatly missed