|Ron visting Reg at his home earlier in 2008
Delighted to have Ron Savage
onboard as an Honorary Member. Ron was Reg's friend, driver and
minder in the later part of Reg's life.
I first met Reg. in the early part of 1990 when
he came to live near Dartmouth in South Devon. Jeanne, his daughter, and her husband ran a business in Dartmouth and
it was through them that I was introduced to Reg. Jeanne told me that her dad was looking for someone to give
him a hand fixing cupboards to walls etc., and was I interested. Since I was retired and enjoyed a bit of D.I.Y., I
agreed to offer my services.
Reg. and I hit it off from the start and we were soon exchanging banter.
morning he rang me saying that the water butt at the side of his garage was too low to get a watering can under the tap, could
I suggest something. Well the obvious thing was to raise the tank, so off I went, we drained the tank , shortened the down
pipe and raised the tank on blocks.
It was then
suggested that perhaps a little liquid refreshment would now be in order, so we adjourned to the local hostelry. The following
Sunday I received a telephone call to say that the tank was leaning,
could I give a hand to adjust it. Job done,
we again adjourned to the pub for an hour. There after it was a normal thing to receive a call on Sunday morning asking if
I was ‘coming out to play’.
Reg. began doing one man shows again in 1991/2 and got together a group comprising,
Ed Welch on keyboard, Rod Farrel, piano and a drummer whose name escapes me. Ed Welch is a music arranger, one of his
pieces is the introduction music for ‘One Foot in the Grave’. Rod Farrel, (since deceased), was a retired
Royal Marine Bandmaster, who at some stage in his career, was
Bandmaster of the Royal
Yacht band. All lived in and around the Dartmouth area.
Reg. invited me to keep him company on journeys to the
various venues and I drove his car for him. During this time we traveled to London, Eastbourne, Plymouth, Yeovil, Bournmouth,
Birmingham as well as to BBC studios at Pebble Mill and Bristol. About this time Reg’s book ‘The Little
Clown’ was published. These were sold during the interval and after his shows. On one occasion Reg. asked if I
had read his book. I jokingly told him I would wait until I could get it from the library. I will not tell you his reply!
Later I did in fact borrow the book from
the library just before going on holiday to France. I found that Reg. and wife
Lily, were celebrating their wedding anniversary whilst we were away, so my wife and I sent a suitable card. When we
returned home Reg. asked, ”How did you know
it was our anniversary?”
“ I read it in your book”, I replied. “Bring it down and I’ll sign it for you”,
said Reg. “No, I don’t think the library would like that “, I said. His reply is unprintable!
Some time later however, Reg. gave me a copy in which he wrote,’To a very good friend and minder, Ron’.
a number of occasions during our travels, when stopping off for refreshment, people would often come up and shake Reg’s
hand and thank him for the pleasure he had given them in his television appearances.
An amusing incident happened whilst
I was driving him to his older brother’s funeral in Ventnor, Isle of Wight. We were passing through Newport and
were getting pushed for time, and not being too sure of the route stopped to ask a lady and gentleman for directions.
Immediately Reg. lowered his window the man exclaimed to his wife,”Look, it’s him – you know him on the tele. – it is you isn’t it?” We fell about
laughing, as the poor chap couldn’t remember Reg’s name.
My wife and I moved from Dartmouth in 1997, and
returned to our roots in South Gloucestershire. Reg. and his wife, together with Jeanne, her husband and family, moved
from Dartmouth area to Exmouth soon afterwards and later moved again to Budeigh Salterton. Sadly Lily died whilst
they were living in Exmouth, and when the family moved to Budleigh Salterton, Reg. moved too.
We kept in touch by telephone,
ringing each other occasionally and exchanging banter. We always called to see Reg. whenever we were in the area.
treasure the friendship I shared with Reg., and still miss our weekly drink together and the rapport. Reg. was a very private person, which made his friendship even more
Copyright 2008 Ron Savage