Leading upholsterer Ronald (95) dies

Ronald Bass. (S)
Ronald Bass. (S)

A former upholster who ran his own business in Colne for almost 50 years has died aged 95.

Ronald Gordon Bass started his upholstery business in 1949, located at Primet Bridge, before moving to Skipton Road in 1968.

He retired from full time work in 1995, but continued to do small upholstery work even into his 90s.

Upholstery was Mr Bass’s career, and he joined Ben Pickup as an apprentice in 1935 before the firm moved to Leyland, continuing to work for him until 1939, often cycling over to Leyland and catching the train home.

Mr Bass was called up for national service in February 1941 training at HMS Raleigh at Torpoint in Cornwall.

He was selected as a seaman on minesweepers in the RNPS (Royal Navy Patrol Service), serving on numerous ships in the Atlantic and Mediterranean during the Second World War, including HMS Bonito, HMS Gruinard and HMS St Angelo, which swept for the Salerno, Anzio and North African landings.

Initially a gun layer, earning a nickname the mad gunner after letting off some light explosives to frighten the crew members, he rose to the rank of acting coxswain and was demobbed in March, 1946.

Born in Wincanton in Somerset on November 11th, 1920, Mr Bass attended Bradley Infants and then Bradley Seniors School in Nelson.

He was a mad keen cyclist and racer all his life, and competed in both time trials and mass start races.

Mr Bass even completed a 12 hour race aged 51, when only 20 finished out of a field of 230, Mr Bass being the only over 50s finisher in 12th place.

He estimated that he had cycled half a million miles over his lifetime and he suffered a number of major cycling accidents during his exploits, including breaking his clavicle twice, in 1939 and 1988.

Mr Bass joined Colne Golf Club with his son Nick in 1974, developing into a fine golfer who became captain in 1996 and an honorary life member in 1999.

From the age of 80 he entered the Lawrence Batley over 80s golf competition held at Moortown in Leeds and he won both the overall competition and the over 85s in 2006 with 40 stableford points. He also had four holes in one.

Mr Bass died on April 7th and his funeral was held on April 15th.

He leaves behind his children Elizabeth and Nick, children-in-law Elaine and Bryon, grandchildren Selina, Marc and Neil and great-grandchildren Jenson and Abbie.