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.