Search

Obituary: FT columnist pays tribute to cousin Ronnie Eyres - submariner, banker and man of letters

08:00 19 January 2014

Submariner, investment banker and prolific letter writer Walter Ronald Eyres, who was known as Ronnie, has died

Submariner, investment banker and prolific letter writer Walter Ronald Eyres, who was known as Ronnie, has died

Archant

Submariner, banker and prolific letter writer Walter Ronald (Ronnie) Eyres was a clever, talented, modest man who hid layers of originality beneath a relatively conventional, gentlemanly exterior.

He went on a scholarship to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth – following his father, England rugby international and navy boxing champion Captain Wally Eyres – then entered the Navy. Ronnie served on submarines just after the sinking of HMS Affray, in which he lost several friends. It must have been a trial for a sensitive man; but Ronnie did not complain and made lifelong friends in the navy.

He pursued a career in the City, first in stockbroking firms and then for 25 years at J. Henry Schroder Wagg.

Ronnie was not a typical merchant banker, often going against conventional wisdom, but he was greatly respected for his skill and success at managing large funds.

One colleague described him as “one of the great contrarian and independent-minded fund managers of his time.”

He became a mentor to young recruits. One described his principles as: “a) running your winners, not tinkering, and thinking long-term; b) buying the Racing Post; c) breakfast at Le Poulbot.”

Ronnie followed the horses ­assiduously, though he only ever bet small quantities. His greatest triumph came when he won an Evening Standard racing competition with a prize of £20,000.

Colleagues recall Ronnie baffling newly-arrived graduates with references to portfolios as being like “gardens full of different plants.”

This organic thinking revealed his passion for the environment, which blossomed after he ­retired. He focussed on green ­issues in local campaigns around Dartmouth Park and Hampstead Heath, as well as the renovation of Highgate Cemetery. In 1994 he stood as Green Party candidate for Highgate Ward, and polled an impressive 628 votes, beating all three Lib Dem candidates.

Cllr Maya de Souza credits this for paving the way for the Green Party’s success in 2006, when two Greens were elected.

Ronnie’s political concerns were channelled into the writing of letters to the Ham&High, as well as national newspapers, many of which were published.

Ronnie was a fine wordsmith and would have made an excellent journalist.

He was especially proud when Chancellor Jim Callaghan quoted one of his letters: “There have only been two sorts of Chancellor since the war, those who ended in disgrace or those who got out in time.” Callaghan, who had a cutting of the letter in his wallet, announced, “I aim to create a third sort of Chancellor, one who started in disgrace but ended in triumph”.

Perhaps Ronnie found his greatest satisfaction as a committed family man. He was happily married for 45 years to June Sarson, and was devastated by her death.

He was intensely devoted to his children, Annabel, William and Lebby, sharing in their successes (including Annabel reaching the finals in the women’s double sculls at 1992’s Barcelona Olympics). He was a doting grandfather to his six grandchildren.

Ronnie was born on June 19, 1931 and died on November 23, 2013.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Camden's desire to remain in the EU placed it at odds with the nation's clear choice to leave

As the nation woke up to a political earthquake, campaigners in Camden and Haringey began to process the disconnect between the north London desire to remain in the European Union and the country’s decisive choice for Brexit.

Yesterday, 17:29
Camden Town Hall in Judd Street

A dozen Camden Council employees have been dismissed in the past year because they did not have the right to work in the UK, a report has revealed.

Another employee resigned whilst one was suspended due to right to work in the UK issues.

Camden has voted to remain in the European Union

Camden and Haringey voters have opted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union.

Thu, 22:00
EU referendum polling station at Keat’s Community Library, Keat’s Grove Hampstead NW3

After all the campaigning, the polls have finally closed for the EU referendum.

Thu, 17:17
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer on the Referendum Day campaign trail in Camden

As the nation went to the polls this morning, Labour’s big hitters - including leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan - took to the streets of Haringey and Camden in a last-ditch bid to persuade voters to remain in the EU.

Thu, 07:00
The results of the EU referendum are not expected before 7am tomorrow Friday

Britain will go to the polls today to vote on whether or not to remain in the EU.

Wed, 20:24
Yiannoulla Yianni was raped and murdered

A teenage schoolgirl was brutally raped and strangled by a builder who forced his way into her home and overpowered her after a violent struggle -in a case which has remained unsolved for “half-a-lifetime,” a court heard.

Wed, 15:24
Rita Ora home in Kensal Rise was burgled (pic: PA)

Rita Ora bravely protected her sister and threatened to “f*** up” a thief in a £200,000 raid on the singer’s home in Kensal Rise, a court has heard.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe