Two milestones come at once for retired Kenilworth engineer

Mona Bayliss, 93, with Ron Bayliss, who turns 100 on Saturday February 4. NNL-170102-090345009

Mona Bayliss, 93, with Ron Bayliss, who turns 100 on Saturday February 4. NNL-170102-090345009

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A retired Kenilworth engineer has had two great milestones come at once - his 100th birthday and his 75th anniversary with his wife.

Randolph Bayliss, of Station Road, better known as Ron, turns 100 this Saturday (February 4), and enjoyed his 75th anniversary with his wife Mona, 93, on Tuesday December 20.

The couple already have three cards from the Queen after their 50th, 60th and 70th anniversary, and are due to get a fourth when Ron turns 100.

Ron said the secret to a long life was staying active and taking supplements of the chemical Coenzyme Q10 manufactured by pharmaceutical company Wassen, which he has taken for 44 years after seeing an advert for it in a newspaper.

Ron was born and raised in Mill End in Kenilworth, and only moved away from the town when he was sent to work in Lancaster as an engineer during the Second World War.

He was forced to move there because the Coventry factory he worked in was bombed out during the blitz.

He said: “I was very, very lucky because a couple of nights afterwards my bomb shelter got a direct hit.”

It was at a Woolworths in Lancaster where Ron first met Mona. Mona said: “I was with my mother. He was sat next to me and we got talking a bit.

“When she came home later, she said: ‘That chap who sat next to you - he wants a date with you.’”

Ron moved back down to Kenilworth with Mona in 1945 to work in Coventry again, and the pair have stayed in their Station Road home ever since.

During his working life Ron worked for Armstrong Siddeley in Coventry, which later became Rolls-Royce. He was involved with the engineering of Concorde’s engines, and he said it was a ‘damn shame’ when the aircraft was discontinued.

Mona worked for a greengrocers for 18 years before working part-time for Scope for another 15 years. She volunteered at the shop for a few years after that.

The couple have two sons, Derek, 73, and Tony, 69. They also have two grandchildren, Philippa, daughter to Derek, and Paul, son to Tony.

Great lovers of travelling throughout their lives, Ron and Mona have been on 14 cruises together, and said one of their best trips was on the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1997 when they travelled to the Canary Islands, across the Atlantic Ocean to Barbados and north to New York.

Ron added: “It’s nice to have your dinner on top of a huge skyscraper.”

And for their 60th anniversary in 2001, Ron and Mona enjoyed a long holiday on the Aurora cruise ship.

They also enjoy going to the races, and Ron admitted he enjoyed betting on horses every now and again. Some of the more prominent racecourses they have been to include Epsom, Ascot and York.

Ron suffered a health scare three years ago when he suffered a heart attack, but he was able to pull through.

He will be celebrating his birthday with Mona and his family on Sunday February 5 at the Angel Hotel in Leamington, and said he is looking forward to the day.