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In memory of ... Edwin Dekins

Mr Edwin Dekins was the last of the Dekins and his grandfather, Edwin Dekins Senior, had been a pioneer in Ross and he opened the Kyrle Picture Palace in 1913 which was the first Cinema in Ross. Upon his death, Edwins father took over the running of the Cinema until it closed in 1950. Edwin's grandparents were also responsible for the Ross Carnival, which was setup to raise money for the Cottage Hospital, which is still commemorated in the presentation of the "Dekins Rose Bowl" each year.

Edwin ran the corner shop at the junction between Henry Street and Cantilupe Road. He ran the shop for over forty years, his mother ran it during the Second World War when Edwin joined the RAF and his sister had run it before that until she joined the ATS. After the war he returned to his previous job, at George Masons in Ross where he had served his apprenticeship. In 1952 he was transferred to Derby to manage the branch there. He then returned in 1960 and took over the running of the shop on behalf of Bill Preece (a well known greengrocer) and then in 1970 he bought the shop. He then retired on 30th September 2000 and with great reluctance gave up the shop worrying that he would miss his friends. He must have seen many changes, high points and low points of life around the town and must have had many interesting tales.

Mr Dekins shop Ross-on-Wye
This used to be Mr. Dekins shop on Cantilupe Road Ross-on-Wye
(Click for a larger image)

I will always remember the shop as seeming to be a bit of a 'one of everything' shop; it was fine provided you wanted one tin of beans and not two or one mars bar ... but the range was phenomenal considering the actual size of the shop. He was a real local character.

Sources and references:

  • 'The Ross Gazette' Thursday November 10th 2005 - No. 6880

Dekins Rose Bowl

Below is a recent photo of the Dekins Rose Bowl. It is inscribed Ross Hospital Carnival Challenge Bowl presented by Mr. & Mrs. Dekin Kyrle Picture Palace along with a list of people/businesses it has been presented to over the years.

Dekins Rose Bowl
The Dekins Rose Bowl
[Thanks to Clive Caswell]
(Click for a larger image)

The inscription on the bowl seems to imply that the Ross Town Carnival may have originally been called the Ross Hospital Carnival and that it was setup as a fund raising event for the Ross Cottage Hospital that used to be on Gloucester Road.

The bowl was first presented in 1929 to 'T.E. Farmer' and was then presented annually to Ross businesses until 1933 when Howard Vaughan received it. The next inscription is 1978 "Man of Ross" (possibly this is the Ross Gazette?) and then it was presented annually between 1982 and 2002 (with only a few exceptions).

It turns out that the bowl apparently went missing a few years ago when the last member of the Dekins family, who was aged 90 and was still helping with the Carnival, was unable to continue. After this time the family lost track of the bowl did not know where it had gone. In early August I was contacted, as a result of the article above, by a friend of the Dekins family as they were interested in helping to find it. After their investigation, it turns out that the bowl was still in the possession of the Carnival Committee.

So the bowl was presented in 2007 to Ross Pre-school Playgroup, for coming 1st in Class One at the 2007 carnival, on the evening of the Monday 17th September 2007 at the Larruperz Centre. Mr Theodore Dekins, who is 79 and to whom Mr. E. Dekins was a great uncle, was able to carry on the tradition and present it.

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