LOOKING BACK - November 16, 2017 edition

David Eadon and Robert Fell     PICTURE BY DOC ROWE
David Eadon and Robert Fell PICTURE BY DOC ROWE

David Eadon’s 80th consecutive year at Wroth Silver ceremony - by Robert Fell

Robert Fell has written this week’s Memory Lane for us and is pictured above with David Eadon, who is holding the engraved tankard he received:

It was a dark, cold, damp morning on 11th November 1947 when as a young boy I was dragged from my bed to attend an ancient ceremony with an Aunt whom I had promised to accompany. Riding an old and borrowed ladies cycle, not owning one myself, we made our way from Rugby through Bilton to the A45 London Road, along that single carriageway towards Knightlow Hill at Ryton on Dunsmore for the ancient ceremony of ‘Wroth Silver’.

By now 6 am still dark, with a reasonable amount of traffic so we rode single file, even so it was unnerving, especially for a lady and a young boy on cycles. ‘What lorry driver would expect to see two cyclist at that time in the morning?’

It was at this annual event that I met David Eadon for the first time. He had already been attending the same event since a babe in arms, but was fortunate to be able travel by car. Over the years that followed a friendship developed and whilst teenagers, we regularly played tennis, and other pursuits.

Whilst attending ‘Wroth Silver’ each year that I could, by the age of 18, it was no longer possible due to National Service, followed by a Police Career. However, David never failed to attend. Though prevented by duty in the early days, when I retired as a Police Officer in 1981, it became even more difficult as I had now been accepted as a Safety Consultant in the Oil World, based in Dubai. However our friendship never waned. We met whenever possible and still do so to this day. As Wroth Silver approached each year we were in touch and afterwards I always received an account of the event in the form of a cutting from the Rugby Advertiser.

This year 2017 was quite special as David, now the principal organiser of the event was attending his 80th consecutive visit to the ancient ceremony, an impressive record.

Not having attended for many years, I considered that on this occasion, though living in the south of France it was important that I did so, not only to mark this special day for him, but it was also the 70th Anniversary of our first meeting and a life time of friendship.

To mark the occasion I had a silver tankard, inscribed for his 80th appearance and a further message on the back from me. ‘For 70 years of friendship’. This, I was able to present to him at the ceremony. He had no idea that I had made arrangements to attend so it was a double delighted surprise for him to see me there and also receive this gift.

It is often said that you can actually count the number of real friends in life on one hand, I can honestly say that David is one of those on my hand. Long may that friendship continue.