Ron Tyrrell, HOPC Historian

It is with great sadness that we announce that Ron Tyrrell, HOPC Historian passed away on May 28th, 2020 after battling a lengthy illness. Below is an essay Ron wrote several years ago that describes his life as a writer and athlete.

“I was born born in Dover, on the South-East coast of England in late 1939, when the Country was at war and food was rationed.   Having been born with a delicate constitution and with other health issues, made participation in any form of sport quite out of the question.  The War ended in 1945, although food rationing continued until the early 1950s, but in 1948 something quite wonderful happened; the National Health Service was created, and due to my condition, I was introduced to the wonders of cod liver oil, malt and  concentrated orange juice.

At the age of twelve, I decided to do something more about my physical condition.  With the help of a retired Army Major, I embarked upon a series of what were known as “Swedish Exercises”, and managed to improve my stamina and co-ordination a little.  About two years later, I was fortunate enough to meet Court Saldo (Monte’s son), principle of Maxalding Exercise System, and this proved to be a life-changing experience.  I learned the value of remedial physical culture, and as a result of our many conversations, I became a student of the history of all forms of physical endeavour.  I made a lot of progress, and was then able to take part in school sports, and despite my health issues, in my last school year I won the Victor Ludorum Cup for the “best all-round athlete”. I decided to concentrate on throwing the discus, and reached a sufficiently high standard to qualify to compete in the British National Junior Championships.  The standard was very high that year and Mike Lindsay set a new World Junior Record, previously held by Al Oerter (who later became a four-times Olympic Gold Medalist).

This experience led me to believe that if I could make so much progress after having been born with little natural ability but plenty of determination, then if the same methods were used to train boys with a good natural start in life, the results would be more rewarding than in my own case.  So with the blessing of the Headmaster, I trained a team of boys from my old school, using physical culture methods taught by Tommy Inch, Bill Pullum and Monte and Court Saldo, all pioneers in applying physical culture to athletic progress. The boys,  aged fourteen to fifteen, (and I was only 18 myself) all worked very hard, resulting in a large number of school records being broken.  Much to the delight of the Headmaster and School Governors, the boys won the regional schools athletic shield for two successive years.

At that time, I was working full-time in the coal mines, including attendance at technical college.  Over the years, economics forced me to concentrate on earning a living, but I managed to keep exercising, in parallel with my studies of physical culture history.  During a chat with David Gentle, he persuaded me to write some articles for his magazine, and this led me to writing articles for a number of other physical culture magazines  and sporting journals.  I also wrote a number of articles for Roger and Gil’s websites.  Today, at this stage in my life, I am still exercising and writing and, with the help of my wonderful wife and the British National Health Service, I am enjoying “a blaze of autumn sunshine”. – Ron Tyrrell

Ron was a dear friend and member of our HOPC Team and we will truly miss him. His extraordinary work will live on in the HOPC Library for all to enjoy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ron’s family and friends.

User Comments ( 9 )

  • Peter yates

    So very sad to hear of the passing of this wonderful man.Ron was extremely knowledgeable about Physical Culture History and very generous with that Knowledge.More than once i have consulted with him on a topic i was preparing to write about and he would either give me the information directly or consult his vast collection of PC literature if he was not totally sure about something,always a stickler for being precise.Ron was one of those people who was quite happy to be in the background helping and guiding with support and information.Last November while visiting with Gil i had the chance to have a phone conversation with Ron.While his hearing was weak and his voice was faint, his love and enthusiasm for PC was still burning brightly.I am glad i had that opportunity.We have lost another link to a precious time in PC evolution and a very valued member of the HOPC team. Condolences to his dear wife Cynthia. Rest in Peace dear Ron.

  • Gil Waldron, HOPC Research Historian

    My very close friend Ron Tyrrell passed away yesterday the 28th. Ron has had a long battle with his health. Now he is at rest.

    Ron, I believe was one of the forerunners in the battle to keep Physical Culture alive, and probably knew more about its history than anyone else. Ron had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject, and wrote for many magazines. It was 2000 when I was introduced to Ron by David, At that time my friend Roger Fillary and myself had just started the Maxalding site and were scrambling around for material. I approached David who gave us what material he had, then I hit the jackpot when Ron’s name and contact details were passed to me. Ron was an invaluable help and source, and helped in the creation of Sandow Plus, this was the forerunner of HOPC. So, when you are looking at the site, think of Ron because without him and David it would never have been created.

    He will be sadly missed as a friend, guru and fountain of all PC knowledge.

  • David Gentle, PC Historian & Author

    We have lost our dearest contributor Ron Tyrrell, one of Physical Culture’s greatest writers and authorities, but more than that, a dear friend whose generosity and knowledge helped me more years than I can remember. Like our dear Sticks, Ron was the best at what he did, and his shoes cannot be filled.

    I am so lucky in this life to have known so many wonderful people. God Bless Ron

  • Laurie Smith

    I have just heard the very sad news of the passing of my dear friend Ron Tyrrell from Peter Yates. In describing someone of Ron’s caliber words are feeble, but they are all i have. Ron and i met through our mutual love of Physical Culture and its history.Although, living on two separate continents,we never met, we became pen pals and over the years good friends. He was a real old school gentleman, so kind, decent and generous to a fault.Over the years he sent many rare items and would accept no compensation.One particular treasure, Ron knowing my love of expanders, was the Milo Cable course by Bob Jones the famous hand balancer.Not only that but he also for a number of years paid my subscription to Health and Strength magazine until it folded.What more can isay other than i will really miss him, our phone conversations and communication by mail. Very sorry for his wife Cynthia to whom i send my sincere condolences.

  • Stephen Gardener

    Ron was one of the first to submit articles and support Muscle Mob. A proper old school fan and he will be missed by the PC gang.

  • Diane Robert

    We are deeply saddened by Ron’s passing. He was an extraordinary historian and human being and he will be sadly missed by all. His amazing work will live on in our HOPC Library. Our love and prayers to his wife, Cynthia and close friends.

  • Kevin Collings

    I was deeply saddened when my dear friend Gil Waldron phoned, to let me know about Ron Tyrrell passing away. Ron was a great mentor and very dear friend and a true Muscle Mobster indeed ,with a heart of gold. There are friends, there is family, and then there are friends that become family. Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you. True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart. Ron was blessed with his beautiful caring wife Cynthia, who was his rock and always by his side. Ron will be a big miss to us all, and especially Cynthia. Ron is now free from his pain and suffering on this earth. In the garden of happy memories its always summer and Ron will live in our hearts forever. May God bless him and rest his soul in Heaven.

    All my love and prayers to Cynthia along with my condolences and deepest sympathy. RIP Ron mate.

    Kev the rev x

  • Paul Shaw

    Despite the sadness at losing Ron I still smile when I think of him and if I relate a few of his stories maybe you will smile too.

    Ron was taken under the wing of Court Saldo as a young man and was a great believer in the Maxalding System. Court would invite pupils to his home in Dover and Ron got to meet many of them. One of the pupils was an Indian gentleman called Jai who made his living selling shirts, he was visiting Court and Ron was there at the same time
    Jai had trained purely on Maxalding , no weights, doing push-ups with one arm etc. and had developed an impressive chest

    Ron had been practising hard on the military press and was proud of his achievemment. Court suggested that Ron and Jai had a pressing contest and Ron was really miffed that Jai nearly beat him. What really made it worse was Ron was showing Jai how to perform the press because Jai don’t know what he was doing and just pushed the weights up with brute strength and ignorance. Ron still looked frustrated all the years later when he told me. I loved the story and laughed every time I made him tell me it.

    At one time Ron was practicing the bent press and asked Court about technique. Courts advise to Ron was write to Tommy Inch (who had bent pressed over 300lbs) for some tips. Tommy duly replied and sent Ron some instructions, booklets etc. all for free. However a short while later Ron received a letter from Tommy asking if Ron could lend him a fiver. (Tommy was keen on gambling). As Ron told me £5 was more than a weeks wage down the mines in those days. Ron was in a quandary and spoke to Court about what he should do. Court sent Tommy the fiver and Tommy wrote a nice article in favour of muscle control in Health and Strength as a thank you.

    Ron always laughed when we spoke of Dave Gentle as he had fallen for two of Dave’s deals

    One was a “bargain bundle” of Muscle Digest magazines – only trouble was when they turned up there were all the same issue. Another was paying for a catalogue of rare books and mags from Dave’s collection. All Dave was really selling was the catalogue as he didn’t part with any of his collection.

    RIP Ron we miss you


  • Ron Adams

    Our Ron
    I first met Ron at Dungeness A.B Power Station with his friend Lance Jordan and all Electricians.
    Ron Tyrrell was a very nice person and friend he would help anyone he helped me on more then one occasion and helped me get an Electricians College Certificates ,Ron believed in hard work. I also worked with Ron at the Tunnel at Capel-le – Ferne near Folkstone it was the last job That Ron worked at then he Retired .
    I kept in touch with Ron and often talked about old times when we worked at the Power Stations and people he worked with.
    Ron will be sadly mist by us all .

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