‘Gentleman’ Ronnie dies aged 77

Ronald Parker
Ronald Parker

A “GENTLEMAN” who was well known throughout Bridlington’s sixties heyday has died, aged 77.

Barnsley-born Ronald Parker – known to all as ‘Ronnie’ – was laid to rest last Thursday after a funeral at Christ Church, which saw Royal British Legion members donning full regalia and standard bearers.

Ronnie was so determined to join the armed forces at the time of the Korean conflict that he defied painful ill-health and decree of a poor medical to serve with the Royal Air Force during the 1950s.

When one of the places at which he was later stationed happened to be the RAF base at Bempton Cliffs, he was equally determined to make Bridlington the home for him and his wife Dorothy following his time in the services.

Known to most since the town’s sixties boom years, Ronnie became a very popular feature of several of the resort’s groups, including the ex-servicemen’s associations and the then-strong showman’s business fraternity.

Great belief in the resort in the years after its heyday saw him involved with the Brentwood Hotel on Marlborough Terrace, and running a repairs and electrical shop on Quay Road.

An accomplished musician in his early days, he became an authority on traditional and modern jazz, besides offering the broadest range of musical knowledge. A leading member of the Royal British Legion, he was also technical adviser to Fort Paull Visitors Centre and Armouries when it opened in 2000.

Despite family invitations to reside in Canada in more recent years, Ronnie steadfastly refused to leave the resort he so loved.

Inexhaustibly battling against painful conditions, he rovingly kept busy way past retirement stage and could even be seen in more recent years tending bar or running the golf at Sewerby Hall and Gardens.

Ronnie was described by friend Wes Walker as a “warm, unfailingly jolly and elegant character, noted by all generations as a latterday exemplar of sparkling gallantry”.

He leaves two sons, Jamie and Adrian.