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A fond farewell to Dave Jones

“Your legs may have stopped turning but your legacy lives on. You’ll ride beside us every day.”

Cyclists from afar joined Dave Jones’ family on Tuesday 20th September 2022, to bid him a final farewell at St Mary’s Church in Shaw. For those who were unable to make the service, we are pleased to share this lovely tribute from his daughter Jasmine, read at the service by his granddaughter Eleanor.

Dave Jones. A family tribute.

"David was born in Maidenhead on 28th July 1930 to Herbert and Eleanor Jones. The family moved, a few years later, to Newbury where his father was manager of the gentlemen’s outfitters, Silvers, in Northbrook Street and the family lived over the shop. David’s sister Jennifer was born in 1939.

He was always very kind to his little sister – he made furniture for her dolls house: balsa wood squares glued together and varnished; and he also used balsa wood to make beautiful model aeroplanes.

David and his mother would paint Christmas cards together each year and he would help her with Red Cross fundraisers with his magic lantern slides.

However, it will come as no surprise that David was a bit of a tearaway:

Home-made bows and arrows were a feature - there was a narrow escape for a baby in a pram in Victoria Park. He enjoyed swimming in the canal and would dive down to swim through the sluice gates.

David and some friends once stole some bananas from Marks and Spencers: they were reprimanded but luckily the only punishment was an upset stomach from eating too many bananas.

Needless to say, he didn’t behave in school either. He once jumped out of a first-floor window at break-time to be first in line for the tuck shop but landed on the headmaster.

During the war he was in his element and he said it was all a big adventure to him:

He managed to get hold of military ammunition, scavenging at air crash sites and leaving with pockets full of bullets which he would use to make fireworks.

He once threw a hand grenade into the bonfire at Northcroft on Guy Fawkes night: he had previously taken it to school to show his friends and caused considerable alarm by removing the pin (he said he knew the time delay on the fuse and replaced the pin in time!)

David also knew how to make gunpowder and his piece de resistance was probably at the family home where he blew up the outside toilet.

As a teenager he took an interest in collecting birds’ eggs and would cycle to different locations to find eggs from rare species of birds (it wasn’t illegal in those days!). He kept his collection for many years.

This activity eventually took him in a whole new direction when Dave realised that he enjoyed the cycling more than the egg hunting. And, as we all know, cycling became his enduring passion.

Newbury Road Club was central to this and, over the years, Dave made many close friends in the club.

The family would like to express heartfelt thanks for all the love and support from Newbury Road Club and we are very moved that so many Club members are here today.

We would like to say a particular thank you to Jeff Garner and Brian Tate for their tribute to Dave.

* * *

Dave married twice:

He was with Marilyn, a Thatcham girl, from 1959 until 1987. Their first date was to see The Bridge on the River Kwai at the pictures. Dave was particularly impressed because Marilyn was the first girl to turn up on time for a date! They started their married life in Hermitage and moved to Newbury in 1978.

Emma came to Newbury from Cebu in the Philippines to be with Dave in 1991. It was a completely new way of life for her and she missed her family but with Dave she soon settled into life in the UK and made new friends.

Dave’s children - Cherry, Jasmine, Philip and Vanessa - all have happy memories of family life. He was a fantastic, funny Dad and activities with him were always an adventure.

He used old telegraph poles to make a huge swing in the garden; he made a wooden sledge and later adapted it to make it go faster by adding metal rails.

There were numerous family holidays in Wales including joint Easter holidays with the Frost family.

There were Summer holidays in France – interestingly these often coincided with the Tour de France and so there would be a detour to watch a time trial or a stage in the mountains.

And many trips to the Philippines to visit Emma’s family and explore the different islands; visiting beaches, waterfalls and volcanos.

Dave loved the liveliness of the Philippine community in Newbury and enjoyed it when Emma had big parties at Fifth Road. There would be lots of chatting and laughing in the kitchen between Emma and her friends and they would, of course, produce mountains of delicious Philippine food that Dave would happily devour.

* * *

We all know that Dave enjoyed his food and many of his stories involve food in one way or another:

He talked about a time at the Fox at Peasemore where, following a roast dinner, the landlord had brought out a tray of pork pies that needed eating up. Everyone was too full after the dinner, apart from Dave, of course, who cleared up the whole tray - 16 pork pies.

On one occasion, he was cycling home from work with a pack of sausages in his bag. The sausages somehow bounced into the road and were immediately run over by a car. Undeterred, Dave scraped them up, took them home and fried them for his tea. He did say they were a bit gritty.

He especially loved fish and chips. On meals out, there was never any need to ask Dave what he would have; it was always fish and chips.

* * *

Dave had a strong spirit of adventure and loved travelling. He had been all over the world and highlights included trekking in the Himalayas; penguin-watching in Australia; hiking in central Africa to see mountain gorillas; and riding a camel across the desert in Egypt.

Dave had particularly enjoyed a holiday that he and Emma had taken in 2012 in Costa Rica where they joined a luxury sailing yacht to cruise along the coast. A postcard home reads “Both Emma and I climbed the mast… and I took the helm for 20 minutes: Superb!”

There were, of course, many cycling trips with the club in the UK and abroad and he loved the challenge of the cycling and the camaraderie of being part of the group.

* * *

Alongside his adventurous nature, Dave also had a quieter side.

He was very knowledgeable about the natural world.

He enjoyed photography and, in recent years, he had rediscovered his skill and enjoyment in painting, producing accomplished depictions of birds and animals, places he had been and landscapes that inspired him.

He had had more than his fair share of sadness and, after losing Emma in 2017, he greatly valued the love and support he received from his family and wide circle of friends.

Dave was very proud of his children and grandchildren. He always had time for others. He had a generous nature and loved to share his sense of humour, his anecdotes and his time with his friends.

His friends and family meant the world to him and he meant the world to us.

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Reprinted with kind permission of Jasmine Jones.



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