Sent: 17 Mar 2007
I am very sorry to have to announce that Ron Chesterman died at 11.15 on
Friday 16 March 2007.
Originally a local government archivist, Ron came down to London to study
for a degree. He joined the Strawberry Hill Boys in late 66/very early
1967, after Tony Hooper saw him playing in a pub in Chalk Farm (the
Enterprise in Chalk Farm Road, just down the road from Tony's two flats on
Haverstock Hill and Steeles Lane which inspired the song "Pieces of 79 and
15"). He travelled over to Copenhagen with Cousins, Hooper and Sandy Denny
to make those early recordings - he still has a snapshot taken on the
ferry. His excellent double bass playing is also featured on those tracks
which make up Preserves Uncanned as well as the first two Strawbs albums
released on A&M, Strawbs and Dragonfly. He left the band in early 1970,
just after Rick Wakeman became a member, as Cousins and Hooper moved
towards an electric line-up, recruiting John Ford and Richard Hudson on
bass and percussion respectively.
After the Strawbs Ron worked with Noel Murphy and Shaggis (aka Davey
Johnstone, later Elton John's electric guitar genius) as Draught Porridge
and later on with various others. His favourite music was really jazz, and
he played in many jazz line-ups too.
In later years he returned to his home town of Chester, where he was the
county archivist, also spending some time away from England in the
Caribbean. I met him back in 2000 when he came to the Strawbs show in
Shrewsbury. I drove him back to Chester the next day and spent an
extremely enjoyable day listening to his reminiscences of the old days. A
feature from that interview, as a tribute to Ron, will be posted shortly on
I know Strawbs fans will wish to send their deepest sympathy to Ron's wife
STRAWBSWEB - www.strawbsweb.co.uk
"You'll scarcely believe all the pleasures inside"