Ron Pickford was the Biggin Hill Residents’ Association Secretary from 1965 – 2000. Below is an edited version of the letter from the association (David Haslam) to Councillor Gostt for a Civic recognition of his unstinting and loyal service to both the Residents’ Association and the wider Biggin Hill community. At the bottom of the page is a link to take you to the original letter sent.
As you are aware Ron’s service to Biggin Hill Residents’ Association extends back over more than 40 years, whilst his service as Secretary covers an unbroken 35 years.
When my wife and I first arrived in Biggin Hill in 1971-72, we were approached to see if we would join the Biggin Hill Residents’ Association. Being new to the area, I decided this would be a good way to find out more about the issues that concerned Biggin Hill.
The first meeting that I attended would have been early 1972. There was Ron Pickford seated at the table alongside the then chairman Ron McCain. In the insuring years other chairman were to come and go, but always there, keeping a record of our meetings, sifting through new planning applications, dealing with most of the correspondence, was our ever faithful Secretary Ron.
Perhaps the most important part of his legacy is the Biggin Hill Memorial Library. It transpired that following the 1939-45 World War, the then community had collected money to purchase a Plot and erect a community Memorial Hall on the land. A timber framed Hall was erected and was briefly used, but subsequently burnt down.
The Community at that time, was unable to consider rebuilding the Hall and the decision was taken to vest the land in the names of three trusties who would stand as representatives in the community. One of the representatives was Ron Pickford on behalf of the Residents Association
The Council found itself dealing with these three Trusties when the decision was taken to site the proposed Biggin Hill Branch Library on the old Community Hall site. Following lengthy negotiations, I believe the land was subject to compulsory purchase for a nominal sum, possibly 1p. Out of respect to the original intention of providing a Community Hall, as a memorial to the fallen of the Second World War, we insisted the new Library should be capable of use for Community Meetings and that it should be known as the Biggin Hill Memorial Library.
Ron also helped on a number of other projects, such as Jug’s Hill trial (and fighting off a large development), extending the bus service down to Biggin Hill Valley.
Ron’s wealth of information about Biggin Hill has for many years enabled him to write a Biggin Hill Column in the Sevenoaks Times Newspapers. Regular as clockwork Ron’s column has appeared giving insights into the many people and organisations that make-up the community of Biggin Hill.