Our Ron – Giant of Aldborough Hatch

Ron Jefferies 1933 - 2020

We sadly announced the passing of our dear friend and former AHDA Chairman Ron Jeffries who passed away in King George Hospital early morning on 15 Dec 2020 with his family by his side. As a tribute to him please read the short history of his life based on his own words:

Ron Jeffries was born in King George Hospital in 1933 in the London Borough of Redbridge, joining the church choir in 1944, since when he has been trotting along the road to St. Peter’s Aldborough Hatch. He edited and wrote publications for St. Peter’s. He met Yvonne, his wife for 57 years, in the choir stalls at St. Peter’s.

A hit-and-miss school career (during which he stammered), then national service and the City of London. He held leadership appointments in The Scout Association in his home area over some sixty years, for eleven of which he worked professionally as General Editor and Editor of SCOUTING, the Association’s national magazine, In 2013, the Chief Scout awarded him the highest award in Scouting, the Silver Wolf, for ‘services of an exceptional nature’. Ron was a founder member of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association (AHDA), a residents’ group, working in partnership with the local authority to protect the Green Belt of Fairlop Plain, to enhance leisure facilities and in ensuring that land used for sand and gravel extraction reverts to agricultural or leisure/nature conservation use.

Ron was a founder member of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association (AHDA), a residents’ group, working in partnership with the local authority to protect the Green Belt of Fairlop Plain, to enhance leisure facilities and in ensuring that land used for sand and gravel extraction reverts to agricultural or leisure/nature conservation use.

He had a leading role in the successful local campaign over some ten years at the turn of the century to resist development of the London City All-weather Racecourse at Fairlop Waters. Appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 1980, Ron sat at Redbridge Magistrates’ Court for twenty-three years, serving on the Juvenile and Family Panels, and the Lord Chancellor’s Area Advisory Committee.

Elected as Bench Chairman (1996 to 2000), he launched the Court Drug Initiative for drug-related offenders in conjunction with NHS health providers, obtained funding in the late 1990s to appoint the first Court-based Drug Worker at a London Magistrates’ Court, and expanded the Mentally Disordered Offenders’ Scheme. In 2002 he organised the PR for yet another successful campaign — this time to keep Redbridge Magistrates’ Court open.

Prior to his retirement, Ron edited MILK INDUSTRY and wrote as a freelance for a number of charities and publishers. In his retirement, Ron served as a non-executive director for seven years, first with the Redbridge Healthcare NHS Trust and later with the North East London Mental Health NHS Trust.

Ron and Yvonne were volunteers at the Redbridge Night Shelter for the homeless from 1998 to 2009, and cooked for the Cold Weather Shelter for three winters. Latterly his interests ranged from reading (humour and recent history), gardening, listening to music, writing letters to the press, examination invigilating at the nearby Oaks Park High School, enjoying photography and seeing his photographs published, visiting London and especially its markets, riding on a float in the Notting Hill Carnival, scouring the pound shops for bargains. Sadly, Yvonne died from cancer in October 2014.

RIP Ron

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