It is with great sadness that I report the tragic loss of a current member and a former member. Namely Ron Lees and Caroline Clist.
It is only a few weeks ago that Caroline passed following a lengthy period of heart problems. In fact her funeral service was only last Monday.She was one of the early members of the branch and served as an officer whilst being a loyal member for a number of years. A real character if ever there was one and a lady who lived for her fishing which took her and her husband Julian to far flung parts of the world chasing trout and salmon. She was an accomplished angler and fly tyer and great fun to be with. In later years she became a skilled worker in stained glass and hosted exhibitions of her work.
Last weekend we lost a true gentleman when Ron Lees collapsed and died suddenly at his home in Tewkesbury. Ron had been a member for several years and was a quiet unassuming man who greatly enjoyed the camaraderie amongst the members. Not prone to blowing his own trumpet I only learned from him a few months ago when I visited him after a spell in hospital what some of his achievements were in the world of fishing. Ron had recently come to fly fishing and was a diligent student of fly tying and whilst it did not come easy to him his determination to succeed was evident. The picture below shows him receiving his Silver accreditation award only last year. He was very proud of that achievement and I was very proud to have helped him achieve it.
Looking back, it is clear that Ron was an extremely successful match angler particularly during the 1990’s when he was a part of the very famous Cofton Hackett match squad. In those days matches regularly attracted 150 anglers or more and Ron won a number of these events specialising in the use of Luncheon meat as bait. So much so that he was affectionately known as ‘ Mr Meat’. Ron was a very forward thinking angler and was extremely effective on the River Severn. He also represented local clubs in National fishing events.
Ron wrote articles for the Coarse fishing magazine and went on to publish two books which are still available today.The first ‘ Perfect your Legering’ was published in 1992 and the second ‘ An Anglers life for me’ in 1994. Ron also had his own tackle shop in Bromsgrove for a time.
Thanks to Ken Giles who fished with Ron is his heyday for providing background information on his life.
We will miss them both certainly. RIP Caroline and Ron.