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Ron Millichamp

Picture of Ron Millichamp.

Ron was born ‘a Penparcau boy’ on the 21 February 1925.

He grew up in Cae ffynnon, one of the newly built parts of Penparcau, then a village close to Aberystwyth. He began his lifelong love of nature at an early age when his Dad would take him for long walks teaching him about the birds, plants and animals living in the vicinity.

Ron attended the village school in Penparcau and spent his free time roaming the slopes of Pen Dinas and the banks of the Ystwyth.

It may come as a surprise to most of you but one day the village school was visited by the Temperance Society and the seven year old Ron Millichamp actually signed the Pledge ! He says in his memoirs that he found the signed document many years later only to realise that by then he was truly a lost cause.

At age nine Ron had a surprise present – a little brother. About this he comments, I found the baby interesting at first but soon the call of the outdoors won out and I returned to my egg collecting and lizard catching.

Ron went on from to Penparcau School to Ardwyn Grammar School in Aberystwyth. This part of his education was disrupted when the family moved to London where he attended Hampton Grammar School. He had many happy years there, joining the Scouts and taking part in all school activities.

When the war became imminent Ron was evacuated to stay at Presteigne which was his father’s family home. He ended his education in Presteigne Grammar School but didn’t achieve quite the necessary grades to attend University, as Ron said – extra curricular activities and girls got in the way of him doing his best !

In Presteigne Ron earned pocket money working in a grocers skinning cheeses and delivering orders. It was while he was in Presteigne that he was introduced to the pastime of fishing – little did he know how this hobby would shape his life. In his own words – ‘catching that fish on the river Lugg, - that was it, hooked, doomed to be a fishing fanatic for the rest of my life’.

In 1943 Ron returned to London as an Engineering Cadet in the drawing office at the Ministry of Supply. In 1946 he joined the Royal Corps of Signals, Airborne Division. He spent most of his service in Germany and left the forces in 1949.

After that Ron worked for the South Wales Electricity Board, here was where he met his wife to be, Megan, who was a nurse in the Cardiff Royal Infirmary.
His love of the outdoors and fishing led him to move to Kent to work as a water bailiff, this was the start of a lifelong career. From Kent he and Megan moved to Northumberland where he worked as a Head Bailiff on the Tyne for the Northumbrian River Authority. In the sixties ? ? Ron was a founder member of the Institute of Fisheries Management and was active with the Institute until the early eighties ? ?.

From there he moved to the SW Wales River Authority and then to the Usk River Authority during which time he lived in Llanover near Abergavenny.

He later returned to the SW Wales RA and lived near Haverfordwest. Ron ended his career here as a Fisheries and Leisure officer.

Even after retirement Ron was still involved in fishing as he became a consultant on Fishing Law and ran many Bailiff training courses in Fisheries Law.

Ron was an author, he wrote two books on Angling Law and wrote and contributed to many papers on fishing and fisheries management.

In the late seventies Ron moved back to Aberystwyth and quickly involved himself in the local fishing scene. He was a member of the Aberystwyth Angling Association, he became a part owner in the Catalina and spent many hours sea fishing with his friends.

Ron sadly lost his wife of many years after they moved to Aberystwyth but he remained living in their little house in King Street to the end.

Ron was a very sociable man with a great sense of humour and was always a gentleman. He was interested in everything and anything and could always offer an opinion on any subject. His knowledge of all things fishy was huge but he also had an encyclopaedic knowledge of birds, animals, plants and all nature. He was also an interested observer in local politics and loved nothing more than sending slightly contentious letters in to the Cambrian News, ‘just to stir things up’ as he would say.

Ron loved to go out with his friends and his family for a meal and a drink, if you were to look at Ron’s personal phone directory you would find every restaurant in town listed. He was a long time supporter of the RNLI, his favourite charity although he also supported many others including Guide Dogs for the Blind where he sponsored many dogs through their training.

I think there are two things that to my mind say a great deal about Ron – one was the line on his 80th birthday invitations which said – to celebrate 80 years of fishin, frolickin, and general misbehavin’

The other was something he said while in hospital last week and that was that he had ‘had a lovely life’. I think anyone who knew Ron knew that he loved life and I know that all his family, friends and acquaintances are richer for having known him.

Added by: Chris Millichamp on 2 November 2012.

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