Friday, 9 December 2011
Older customers ( and many ex-employees) will be saddened to hear of the death, at the age of 93, of Ron Ely.
Ron was working for H.M. Bonniwell and Son when Albert Balaam bought the business in 1956. His professional training was as a piano tuner, at which he had few equals. He also turned his hand to the repair of most instruments that came his way, including the early guitar amplifiers and electronic organs.
Ron was also an extremely accomplished musician, having performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto as soloist in Sheffield, and he led countless orchestras, and bands for shows at the Theatre Royal in his native Bury St Edmunds. He was also a very tidy sax player, having appeared in some of the top professional dance bands of the early fifties.
Ron was much loved by the members of local groups in the sixties and seventies, who often depended on Ron to get their equipment working for gigs at the weekend. To the end he maintained that one particular regular, now an internationally famous film star, had run off with his favourite screwdriver in one such crisis, and this was never forgiven!
Ron was a man of enormous skill, prodigious technical knowledge and musical accomplishement. He had a kind heart and a great sense of humour, and will be mourned by all who knew him.
Ron's funeral is at St John's Church, Bury St Edmunds on Friday 16th December at 12 noon. No flowers, but donations to Musicians' Benevolent Fund, c/o Clutterhams Undertakers.