Obituaries

Ralph (Ben) Batchelor

Ben lost his long fight (15 years) against cancer but is now out of pain. He will be buried in our wood. Being a very private man he only wanted very close family, his brother and sister, our children and grandchildren to be present. He will be remembered with a Cricket Tea, and his favourite bat will go with him.

Precis of Ralph’s Life Story

Ralph was born in Stranraer, in Scotland, on 12th May 1942 to Ralph and Betty Batchelor. His father was stationed in Scotland in the RAF during WWII. Ralph’s elder sister, Valerie, was born the previous year. Betty and the children returned to London in 1944 to live with her parents at 23 Cavendish Road, Harringay, where Ralph’s brothers, John and Phillip, were born.

His first school was South Harringay Primary. Valerie had the unenviable task of taking him to school and hearing constant reports of, “Your Ralph is outside Mr. Wilson’s door again.” Mr. Wilson was the headmaster and administered the cane. Ralph was usually in trouble for climbing on the roof to collect the football or fighting with his best friend, Eddie Plumb. When taking him anywhere, Valerie always said, “Ralph, please be good.”, but he never was.

Ralph took the 11+ exam and was not expected to pass because he had paid little attention to his lessons. The class teacher, Mrs. Gaze, asked those who had passed to move to the side, and when Ralph went to join them, she thought he had made a mistake and asked to see his letter. He had, in fact, passed the 11+ exam, and went to the Stationers’ Company School for Boys. His major interests were football and cricket, and he continued to be in constant trouble, leaving at 16 to work at Frederick Sage, shopfitters, specialising in buying timber and veneers, eventually gaining HNC in Business Studies at evening classes and becoming Purchasing Manager.

Ralph married Stefanya on the 1st of May 1965; having bought a house near Royston and commuting to London, Ralph was “headhunted” by one of Sage’s suppliers and after working in Stourbridge and living in hotels searching for a new home for 9 months only meeting up at week-ends, they moved to The Farm in 1971. Villagers apparently commented “What do those two young people want a big house like that for?”. Three years later Grey was born, followed by Abigail in 1977 and Hannah in 1984, so the house was soon filled.

You may be aware that Ralph better known at OS as Ben formed part of a famous half back line on the football field together with Charlie Cruden and Mike Hasler that carried the team through various school years with a great deal of success. He continued to play football and Cricket for the Old Boy’s Association, however this now had to be limited to yearly visits. Despite working away regularly, Ralph was always active in village life whether playing cricket or in more recent years sitting on the recreation ground committee and working for the youth club.

Two years after moving to The Farm, he was out of a job and decided to start his own business as a Steel Mill’s Agent finding customers for German and Italian producers of very specialised steels. This entailed a lot of travel throughout the UK, Europe and latterly India, travel was always something to be relished and enjoyed. His young German and Italian colleagues, now some 40 years older, have all said that his experience and tutoring taught them a great deal about negotiating and business, expressing their admiration for his generosity and honesty.

A wonderful father and grandfather, savouring all the humour and love that these roles bring with them. He recently said that his only regret in life was not living long enough to see the grandchildren grow up and flourish.

He and I had wonderful memories of happy times with old friends at OS Football Matches and Cricket matches from the early 60’s until our last visit to Botany Bay a year ago. I have lost a good man.

Stefanya (Steve)

Barry Macrae

Following another forced visit to Barnet General I regret to announce the passing of another one of our football greats. Barry Macrae died on 8th October after a long illness. The funeral is on Friday 2nd November at West Herts Crematorium, WD2 50JS, North Chapel, at 1.20pm. Then back to the Bay. Gordon

Geraint Pritchard

Geraint Pritchard

Geraint, was very supportive to many of us during our school days and took a keen interest in our career paths and lives after leaving school. He played a huge part in the Old Stationers Association as editor and major contributor of ‘The Old Stationer’ Magazine, serving on the Committee and as a past President. His dedication to the School and Association influenced much of the OSA as we know it today and his passing will leave a huge void. Geraint, had an unquenchable appetite for travel and enjoyed sharing his experiences through the Magazine travelog and in encouraging us to explore the wider world. The funeral will take place at 2pm on Wednesday 2nd May in Anglesey, at Barachia Chapel, Llandegfan, LL59 5PY. Could those wishing to attend let Tim Westbrook know to anticipate approximate numbers for catering.

Richard ‘Dickie’ Rundle

Dickie Rundle

We are sad to announce the passing of Dickie Rundle on Saturday 17th February at the age of 90. He died peacefully at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester. Loving husband of the late Barbara, cherished father of Nick and Mandy and devoted grandad to Charlie and Sam. His funeral is to take place at Worthing Crematorium at 1.20pm, on 6th March. Family flowers only.

Dickie was a true stalwart of Old Stationers FC from the early 50s onwards. He was 1st XI captain for 3 seasons (1951/52-1953/54) and led the side to the club’s first 3rd Division Senior SAL Title in 1952/53. He served as Hon Secretary from 1956/57-1960/61 and then as Club President from 1976 to 1994.

Dickie was one of life’s great administrators, he served on the SAL Committee for many years having joined in 1960. From 1967 until 1986 he held the office of Vice-Chairman of the SAL Committee and in 1987 he was elected Vice President of the SAL.

Friends and colleagues will recall his infectious enthusiasm and cheery demeanour which will be sadly missed.

Our thoughts are with Dickie’s family and friends at this sad time.

All enquiries, including donations, in Dick’s memory, to 01798 813967.

David Michael Johns

David died on December 16th 2017 aged 76. He attended the school from 1954 to 58 and had been living in South Africa.

John Fiddy

John was born in Haringey on 23rd May 1944 and grew up in North London with his parents Joan & Stan. He went to school at the Old Stationers and then went on to study Chemistry at Nottingham University. He just about passed his degree, mainly in his own words due to mostly playing the guitar and chasing women. However, this lead to a successful career in music starting out as a session player and arranger for the likes of of Alvin Stardust, David Essex, Lulu, Tom Jones, The Beach Boys, Barry Blue and many more. He worked closely on many major albums including Olivia Newton John, Dana, Kimera, Lena Zavaroni, and the legendary Frank Pourcel. John also did all the arrangements for Alain Boubil who went on to write Les Miserables, so indeed he worked with some of the best in the industry in the 70’s and rose to the top of his game.

John then went on to work for Sonoton, composing library music for Gerhard and Heidi Narholz and he ran the UK arm of the business for many years from his home Fruit Farm in Foxton, Cambridgeshire. He continued as a composer under various aliases including Barry Ryder, Jean-Pierre Fabien, Peter Guntherson, & Jean-Claude Madonne, writing over 2000 library titles which are still used widely Internationally today. John spent his later years living in Norfolk and continued to write music often recording at the Angel Studios in London with the likes of David Arch, Martin Taylor and Mitch Dalton.

John had been married to his wife Glynne who sadly passed in 2014 for over 35 years and has three grown up children Pru, Joe and Georgia. HIs legacy continues though his children and music.