7 Romsey Road, Woodville
History of 7 Romsey Road
Robert Ridgeon, 36, stonemason, b Cambridge
Rose Alice, 36, b London
Harold Desmond, 9, b Cambridge
Frank Alwyne, 4, b Cambridge
Mary Ann Hart, mother in law, 70, widow, old age pensioner, b Linton
Harold Desmond Ridgeon died in 1989. At his memorial service in St Catherine’s College, Michael Jeacock gave an address which included the following:
Harold was born on February 24th 1902. His father was a stonemason and his mother a school teacher. He started work as a railway clerk but then made the decision to study at Cambridge University. He taught himself latin and was admitted to St Catherine’s College in 1922.
Working to pay his way, he still managed to get a first class degree in economics. He remained grateful to the college throughout his life and was a considerable benefactor. In 1979 he was elected an Honorary Fellow Commoner.
Two years after leaving St Catherine’s he started his own building business. In 1936 he acquired the stock and goodwill of William Sindall. William Sindall was formed into a private company in 1953 and went public in 1965. By 1988 the company turnover was in excess of £60m.
Other business interests included the acquisition of W Adkins’ shop at 64 Hills Road in 1953 and the resulting 30 Adkins shops throughout East Anglia.
With his brother Frank they acquired a farm at Abington and an estate in Suffolk at Hengrave. He developed Bradwells Court with Ted Greenwood.
He was chairman of Cambridge City Football club but failed to persuade those concerned of the benefits of a merger with Cambridge United. He was Vice Chairman of the Cambridge Building Society; he bought the Gonville Hotel and created a much larger business. He was president of the Cherry Hinton Constitutional Club. City Councillor, treasurer of the Cambridge Conservative Association, he was also a champion grower of carnations.
Robert Ridgeon, stonemason