Roy Tranckle: A Tribute

A head and shoulders image of a man looking at the camera

(Photo courtesy of Allan Tyrer)

18th November 2021

Supporters pay tribute to one of our longest-standing, most active and beloved members, Roy Tranckle, who sadly passed away last week aged 74.

*Update: Roy's funeral will take place at 1:20pm on Thursday 6th January at North East Surrey Crematorium, Morden. Information about the wake to follow.

If you ever attended one of events, you'll have known Roy. Roy was there at our very first conference and was a regular ever since. "Roy was always a part of the BSA conference experience," said Mikey Tose. "The way he would come up to you, shake your hand and ask you where you were from. Then he would ask if you would be dancing later at the gala event, adding that he would be there dancing away too."

A man and woman dancing
Roy busting some moves at one of our conferences (photo courtesy of Derek Maynard)

A theme that became clear as we read through the outpouring of tributes on our Facebook group, was how friendly and genuinely interested he was in you. "I remember Roy as the most supportive presence to me at the World Congress for People who Stutter in Australia in 2004," said Elizabeth Hack. "It was my first trip abroad on my own. He was so chatty and friendly and was a great encouragement as I suffered from jet lag, overwhelmed and nervous". "Roy remembered things about you," said Claire Tupling. "He remembered where I came from, what one of my first jobs was."

Background

This regard we all have for Roy came as no surprise to his family, not least his second cousin Susan: "It was lovely to hear that Roy was so well thought of," she said as she told us more about the man. Roy Tranckle was born in June 1947 in Mitcham, Surrey, the only child of Fred and Betty Tranckle. When he grew up, Roy worked for many years at Smythson of Bond Street, a luxury stationery and leather company, where at one stage Samantha Cameron, wife of ex-Prime Minister David, was one of its Directors. Roy was devoted to looking after his mother Betty, who he was lucky enough to have in his life right up until his last few years. He was a devoted family person and liked to keep in touch with as many family members as possible.

I would like to tell you about Roy's wonderful singing. He always sang to us all and when he did sing he lost his stammer.

Paula Tranckle, Roy's cousin

Susan added, "Roy was a member of the Founder Friends of New Wimbledon Theatre and used to go to there a lot. He loved theatre and music". This was echoed by another cousin, Paula: "I would like to tell you about Roy's wonderful singing. He always sang to us all and when he did sing he lost his stammer". Roy treated the stammering community to his musical abilities too: "I've known Roy since 1995," says Anita Blom, "and we sang ‘Stutterers in the night’ for the first time at the World Congress in Sweden, and every time we met since".

Three men looking at the camera, smiling
Roy (right) with friends at a recent conference (photo courtesy of Mikey Tose)

HEART OF THE community

Sweden, Australia, Croatia, the Netherlands — what jumps out are the lengths Roy went to to stay connected to the stammering community, attending events with his good friend Derek Maynard, who supplied several of the pictures here. Despite his advancing years and declining health, Roy flew over to the last World Congress in Iceland in 2019. Elizabeth Hack again: "He would remember me at many subsequent BSA conferences and talk about Australia and the many other places he'd been to seeking out knowledge and support for people who stammer. He was a great believer in support groups, conferences, places where people could get together and quite obviously thrived on it." 

"Meeting up at stammering events meant a lot to Roy," said Claire Tupling. He went out of his way to help others see the benefits too, as one of his closest friends John Ford recalls: "I first met Roy at a stammering self-help group in London in the 1980s and from this stemmed a great favour he did me. I felt the group was of little use to me and stopped attending it. He called to see me where I worked in South Audley Street and persuaded me to rejoin and he was right."

A group of meeting looking at the camera
At the heart of things. Roy (centre left) beaming at a 90s conference (photo courtesy of Christine Simpson)

Another conference regular, Bob Adams, said, "Roy loved attending BSA events, and was very supportive of all stammering initiatives". Tim Fell, our ex-Chair added: "There was no greater supporter than him, and no one more interested in the charity he clearly loved. You would generally find him on the front row, ready to ask a question, pass a comment, or propose a motion. He would be first up for Open Mike. He would regularly draw me aside, clutch my arm and press me for my views on the latest STAMMA campaign or initiative".

Our conferences will never be the same without him.

Jane Powell, STAMMA Chief Executive

This dedication was there right to the end. We last saw Roy at our AGM on the 30th October, not two weeks before his passing. He was using two walking sticks, mobility clearly a struggle for him. But the fact that he still made the effort to travel into London by public transport to meet others and learn about our activities; to propose and second motions, to vote in the new Trustees and to ask questions, showed just how engaged he was and what being a member meant to him.

For Roy was the embodiment of what it is to be a BSA/STAMMA member; part of this community, this spirit of togetherness we've built over the years. A community in which you can come to a conference alone for the first time, perhaps nervous and not knowing anyone, maybe never having met anyone else who stammers, and come away with lifelong friends, friends that you'll value and cherish meeting up with year after year. 

Two men smiling and looking at the camera
Roy making new friends en route to the Netherlands World Congress, 2013 (photo courtesy of Derek Maynard)

"Roy, like many members of his generation, formed the core and beating heart of what was initially the Association for Stammerers, then the British Stammering Association and now trading as STAMMA," says Jane Powell, Chief Executive. "He was a gentle, good hearted and mischievous soul. Greeting everyone with cheery word and inquiry about their health or family. Our conferences will never be the same without him." This is a sentiment, as you can see from the quotes below, held by many of our members. 

As our next conference in August 2022 will be a joint STAMMA conference and World Congress, it'll be a fitting event to raise our glasses to Roy. We hope you can join us. 

We'll miss you, Roy. 

Funeral arrangements are still being made, but we'll share more information when we get it.

For those of us who knew him well the 2022 Liverpool conference will have a Roy-sized hole, so let's make it a great one for him. RIP Roy, have a dance up there and thanks for the memories, gentle soul xx.

Mikey Tose

Hugely fond memories of Roy, who kept nagging me to do a conference in Belfast! He cheered me on in London on a 10km run a few years ago and always left me funny quips at my travel posts on social media, I will miss him very much in August, we will raise a glass.

 Mandy Taylor

Roy was an absolute gentleman as well as being a real character in a good way of course. So sad to hear of his passing. It was an honour to have known him. Conferences and open days won't be the same. 

John Russell

Whatever the occasion you could be sure that Roy would be there, always ready with a word of welcome or encouragement. He will be missed. 

Colin Marsh

Very sad to read this news today. Roy was always so warm and friendly when I met him at BSA functions. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Sharon Teevan McEvoy

A very confident, quirky, caring individual who would always make time to speak to me. So supportive in all my endeavours and projects. He will be sorely missed and I will miss laughing with him. An unsung hero of the BSA and then STAMMA community."

Rory Sheridan

We are so sad to hear the news of Roy's passing. I first met Roy in the late 1970s as a newly qualified SLT. He attended so many courses with us over the years and was always a kind and supportive group member. He had an ongoing interest in our programme and was always keen to keep up to date with the latest developments in the stammering therapy world. We will miss him greatly.

Carolyn Cheasman & the City Lit team

I have only one photo I can find just now of him, but it shows his characteristic smiling self making new friends back then in 2004 in Australia (see below). May he rest in peace and his family find some comfort in the many fond memories people have of a lovely man.

Elizabeth Hack

A group of people looking at the camera
Roy (centre right) at the World Congress in Perth, Australia, 2004 (photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hack)
An elderly man sitting at a cafe table outdoors.
Photo courtesy of Derek Maynard
Thank you to Susan Gagen, Paula Tranckle and John Ford for helping to give more background about Roy.