A Tribute to Ron Dale

Died Sept 13th 2019

President of SALHS, 2012 - 2019

It is with great sadness that we note the passing in September of our Society President, Ron Dale. He was a quiet, considerate man who, although brought up in Yorkshire, made Stanstead Abbotts dear to his heart. The people of the village and our Local History Society owe him a great deal. His active mind and interest in his own roots led him to discover ours.

His capacity of tenaciously pursuing records, discovering and unveiling facts of long-gone places and people, then absorbing and linking information into a picture of our past was a great legacy bequeathed to our villages.

It was almost providential that Ron, already a published author, was musing on his, “History of Stanstead Abbotts, Rye House and St Margarets” just as Ian White was inspirationally founding our History Society. The two worked together in preparing the book for publication and with the help of a generous grant from the Parish Council it was launched at the AGM in May, 2013.

Appreciation of the quality of its research and the humanity of its style led it to be acclaimed by the British Association for Local History and Ron received the BALH cherished award from its President, Professor Alan Hey in June, 2014. A year later Ron was unanimously appointed as our Society’s first President - and it’s no secret that the sales of his book have enabled SALHS to stay in the black ever since! It continues to sell and is available from our local pharmacy.

Our website (www.salhs.org.uk) is full of Ron Dale snippets and, with enormous enthusiasm, time and effort Ron continued to delve into our village’s history producing all sorts of unexpected tales. He injected gentle humour and ‘life’ into the stories of our past, we and future generations owe him a great debt.

This debt cannot be repaid except only by remembering him, particularly through our website and also by recognising his work in the founding of our archives. A legacy he handed to us with a great, friendly and sharing heart. We are honoured he stopped by.

R. Dixon  &  B. Hunt.