Farewell to a former mayor

Tributes have been paid to a “larger than life” former mayor, who passed away last week.

Ron Windle, from Treeton, who was Mayor of Rotherham in 1998, died peacefully in his sleep in Dinnington on 22nd August aged 89.

The former miner served on Rotherham Council for 24 years from 1975 until 1999. During that time he represented the former Brinsworth, Catcliffe and Treeton ward and was acknowledged as an exceptionally hard-working representative of local people.

Born and brought-up in Treeton, Mr Windle started work at the former Treeton Colliery when he left school at 14.

His life as a miner was interrupted during World War Two when he became a professional footballer for Notts County, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Hull City.

When his playing days were cut short by injury, he returned to the coal industry.

He was an enthusiastic member of the National Union of Mineworkers and worked at a number of pits in the area before ending his career at Orgreave, where he became NUM Secretary.

Described as a “larger-than-life character who put all his energy into helping people”, he was a long-standing member of both the former Social Services and Education Committees.

Well-known throughout the Treeton area, he was a gregarious man who loved people.

“He put all of his energies into helping people and although he might not have been the most articulate of men he always managed to get his message over,” said his eldest son, Barrie Windle.

Rotherham Council leader Coun Roger Stone, who worked alongside Mr Windle for 11 years, said he was “saddened” by the news.

He continued: “He was a real character who served both his local community and Rotherham extremely well for nearly 25 years and being elected Mayor during his final year as a councillor was a huge honour for him. My sympathies go to his family.”

In recent years Mr Windle had moved away from Treeton and into residential care after a long struggle with both Alzheimer’s and cancer.

He died at Dinnington’s Davis Court Residential Home only hours after sharing memories with staff of when he and his late wife, Margaret, who died in 2002, were Rotherham’s civic couple.

Mr Windle leaves six sons - twins Barrie and Douglas, David, twins Paul and Kevin, and Neil - as well as 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.