Ron Bartley, 1926-2022

Ron Bartley was born on 23rd June 1926 and enjoyed a 40 year career that many would envy. Ron spent his working life

staying in top class hotels, eating in the best restaurants and drinking the best wines, in his capacity as a hotel and restaurant inspector and wine taster. He “retired” aged 65 but only from his regular employment, instead of taking life easy he continued working as a freelance inspector for a further 10 years in a job that he thoroughly enjoyed.


A very elegant man, he always looked and behaved as a gentleman in every sense of the word.


Ron loved ice skating and, with his wife Eileen, supported their daughter Jenny, British Junior Champion 1970, throughout her skating career but when Jenny joined the professional ranks he did not fade into the background. Far from it. A new skating experience was awaiting him.


Ron became involved in the administration of the sport and at the suggestion of Pam Davis OBE he was co-opted onto the ice figure committee. Initially he was involved in budgeting but immersed himself into all aspects of committee work. His work ethic and enthusiasm for the sport paid dividends and was rewarded by his election as Chairman of the National Skating Association Ice Figure Committee, a post he held for 10 years, during which time the Association split with roller skating and became The National Ice Skating Association (now British Ice Skating) . More chairmanships followed among them Executive Chairmanship of The Skatelectric Organising Committee, where Ron oversaw the very successful Skatelectric Internationals, which, as the St. Ivel had achieved previously, attracted the world’s top competitors.


Ron also played a significant part in the organisation of the 1995 World Figure Skating Championships in Birmingham where served as assistant director of finance. He was very proud to have been part of the process.


The National Association was not Ron’s only interest in the skating community behind the scenes. For many years Ron was helping local skaters as well, on the committee of the Southampton Ice Dance and Figure Skating Club and for the last 40 years served as Vice President of the club until in its closure in April 2022.


His service was appreciated by the Southampton skaters and In 2016 Ron was honoured by the club on the occasion of his 90th birthday, when over 100 members joined him for afternoon tea and an afternoon of reminiscences.


One of Ron’s claims to fame in the world of ice skating was that many years ago he was part of a team that were sent to China to introduce skating as a sport to the Chinese. The Chinese certainly embraced it and have produced some of the world’s most notable skaters.


Ron was a very kind man and will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.


Ron Bartley died on 8th May 2022 and is survived by his daughter Jenny, her husband Craig and his two grandsons, Geoff and Christopher. Ron’s funeral will take place on 9th June 2022 at 12.30pm at All Saints Church, High Street, Botley near Southampton SO30 2EA It will be followed by a gathering at Regina’s Restaurant, 15 High Street, Botley , SO30 2EA.


Obituary written by Elaine Hooper, BIS Historian.