Tributes paid as 'Mr Kingswood' Roy Stone dies at 83
A GREENGROCER who was affectionately known as "Mr Kingswood" due to his tireless work in the community has died at the age of 83.
Roy Stone was one of the longest-serving school governors in the country and held many other posts including councillor, mayor of Kingswood and was one of the founders of the Kingswood Heritage Museum.
Roy attended Cadbury Heath primary school where he later became a governor in 1952, a post he held for 56 years and only retiring a few years ago due to ill health.
One of his first projects at the school was to raise funds so a phone could be installed. Until then, one of the pupils had to ride into Kingswood each day with the attendance register but Roy wanted to prevent them missing any lessons.
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He also helped to raise funds for the school with book sales, fought for crossing patrols and in recent years, he was a classroom visitor to give young pupils an insight into the history of the school.
He told The Post when he retired as a school governor four years ago: "A lot has changed over the years.
"I think the biggest change has been in people's attitudes.
"When I was at school, for instance, there was no special needs provision at all.
"Teachers have changed, too. They used to use the cane – but you can't educate children with a cane.
"When we were children, there was no central heating at school, you just had a fire in each classroom.
"There were no flushing toilets, just earthenware toilets and buckets."
Roy was instrumental in the school moving to new buildings in 1992 and as mayor of Kingswood in the same year, he officially opened the new site.
After leaving school at the age of 14, Roy worked at Fry's chocolate factory in Keynsham.
He completed his National Service during the late 1940s, serving in Greece as a cook.
In 1965, he set up his own greengrocer's shop in Soundwell Road with his wife, Betty.
He ran the shop for more than 20 years and later opened another in Oldland Common.
Roy was only 22 years old when he became a councillor, first with Gloucestershire County Council and later Kingswood Borough Council.
He was also chairman of governors at Sir Bernard Lovell School in Oldland Common and longest-serving member of Kingswood Rotary Club.
He was also a keen historian and was one of the founders of the Kingswood Heritage Museum where he spent many hours and which was chosen as the venue for him to receive the MBE last year for a lifetime of dedication to his community.
Roy was a keen motorcyclist and restored his own Douglas motorbike which were made at a factory in Kingswood and which he loved to ride with fellow members of the Douglas motorcycle club.
He was also a football fan and a season ticket holder for many years with Bristol City.
Roy was not the sort of person to blow his own trumpet and therefore he was taken aback when he learnt that he was being recognised in the New Year's Honours List.
The award was presented to him by the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter, in front of 120 friends and well-wishers who gave him a standing ovation.
Roy said at the time that the award was the culmination of a very interesting life.
Dame Janet said at the presentation: "Roy, I know you are absolutely up there with the top of those who are receiving awards in this country. You have done so much for your community."
Steve Saddler, husband of Roy's niece, Liesl said: "He was always concerned about others.
"He lived his life trying to improve the lives of others.
"Roy and his wife, Betty, were the most compatible coupe you could ever wish to meet.
"Betty supported him in everything he did."
John Ridley, headteacher at Cadbury Heath primary, said: "Roy always wanted what was best for the children.
"He was a principled man, a strong trade unionists who was always totally committed to making the world a better place.
"He was a lifelong learner - someone who never stopped learning.
"He joined a woodworking evening class only a few years ago."
Roy died after suffering with cancer for four years.
His funeral is being held at 2pm today at the Methodist Chapel in Mill Lane followed by cremation at Westerleigh Crematorium.