Preston family pay tribute to 'much-loved' grandad and 55th Division Association Club stalwart

Prestonians have been encouraged to share their stories after a much-loved community member died over Christmas.

Family and friends have paid tribute to Ronnie Calland, a beloved stalwart at one of the city’s landmark social clubs who has died at the age of 95.

Ronnie, who was steward at the 55th Div Association Club in Preston between 1969 and 1994, died over the Christmas period. In tribute to their loving father and grandfather’s memory, Ronnie’s family have asked people to share their memories and stories of him and of the 55th Div Association Club.

“Many Prestonians will have visited the 55th club over the years and will have lots of memories of it and chances are a great many of those will remember Ronnie Calland the Steward from 1969 to 1994,” wrote family member Dave (aka Vizilo Hipco) on Facebook. “Ronnie, my much loved Grandad, sadly passed away over the Christmas period at the grand age of 95.

“I and the rest of the family would be so happy to hear people's memories of the club and Ronnie in particular,” he added. “Most of my time there was as a kid upstairs in the flat at weekends with my brother Gary when my mum (Christine, Ronnie's daughter) and dad, would wait on and work the bar. We were let downstairs after closing time for a bag of crisps and a bottle of pop.

“I have loads of happy memories but would love to hear other folks' stories. I would love to see some more internal photos of the club if anyone has any. I have fond memories of playing there as a kid. Christmases were brilliant.”

According to the family, Ronnie’s funeral will be a low-key affair as per his request, involving a simple service at the Crematorium at 10:30 on Thursday 25th of January at 10:30. Anyone is welcome to pay their respects.

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