Ronald Godwin Falder was born June 3, 1944 to Henrietta, née Evans, and Harold Falder, a colliery worker. The family lived at 45, Brynhyfryd, Cwmaman. Ron attended Glynhafod Primary School before entering ABGS in September 1955. He fully expected to be destined for Mountain Ash Grammar School during the preceding months until he was informed of a last-minute change just before the beginning of term.
Ron’s progress at school was impeded by poor eyesight, even to the extent that he was unable to read the destination boards on buses approaching the bus-stop. His poor eyesight wasn’t picked up at school or at home until he was in the Lower Sixth. Consequently, that limited him significantly both in the classroom and on the sports field. However, he enjoyed his time at school, and became Head Prefect in the years 1961–62. Like many of us at this time he was expected to take part in the School Choral Concert. He recalled the performance of Carmen put on by the school choir; since he was tone deaf he had to mime throughout!
Outside school time, Ron was an active Boy Scout1 – eventually becoming a Queen’s Scout. He went on an Outward Bound course, an experience he found challenging in the extreme. These activities widened his horizons, and he used the skills he’d gained throughout his life.
Leaving the school in 1963 with A levels in Geography, Economics and History, he went on to Cardiff University to study Economics and, at the end of his first year, hitch-hiked to Bahrain with three friends – one of them, being Alun Williams who had been a year below him at ABGS. He continued his adventures with a trip to India by coach in 1965, as part of the first Comex Expedition.2
After university, Ron taught briefly before becoming an Adult Education Organiser, first of all in the new town of Telford and then across all of South Shropshire – retiring early when the government ceased to support non-vocational education. Then for many years he was a respected picture framer.
Whilst on the Comex-1 trip Ron met Susan Manser. They were married in Cardiff during the following year, 1966. They went on to have three children and four grandchildren, and 56 years together. For much of their married life Ron and Sue lived in rural Shropshire occupying a house in the village of Lilleshall, peaceful now but with an industrial heritage that connected its quarries and mines by canal to the local ironworks, including those at Ironbridge — something they enjoyed exploring.
Ron had a varied and contented life and died on October 20th 2022.
1. A photograph of the School scout troop that included Ron can
be seen at
2. The Commonwealth Expeditions, or COMEX. During COMEX-1 war broke out between India and Pakistan, and the overland journey home was made impossible. The buses were sold to the Indian Tourist Organisation, and the 204 participants were flown home.
The Falder name was first recorded at ABGS when Ron’s uncle Donald joined in 1936. As the youngest in this Falder family, he benefited from the support of his siblings — the first of them to have an extended education. He was able to go to university and then emigrated to Canada, where he lived happily for the rest of his life, becoming a school principal. Another of his nephews, Nigel Falder, was to attend the school from 1967 to 1970.
We are greatly indebted to Sue Falder for the help she gave in the writing of this account of Ron’s life.
CR, July 2023