Known throughout the 1950s as Dorset's most promiscuous man, Roger Ring has died at the age of 81. Leaving a trail of bereft pensioners in his considerable wake [and even at his wake], Roger, who was married seventeen times and fathered more than 50 children, was finally laid to rest today in the ancient burial ground of Our Lady of the Fixed Smile, Long Bredy. The funeral ceremony was attended by dozens of Mr Ring's former partners, many of the "barely walking wounded" bearing bandy-legged witness to the lasting impression left by Roger's considerable "presence".
Born in Bothenhampton in 1938, Roger Ring came to symbolise for many the hedonistic excesses of Dorset's swinging 60s when groups like Ziggy and the Belle Ends provided the quintessential soundtrack to a life of pleasure, tumescence and moral freedom. He was once famously attacked by moral standards campaigner Mrs Mary Shortarse and threatened multiple times by those outraged by his apparently guilt-free attitudes. An unlikely champion of his era in many respects - he was less than 5' 6" in his stocking feet, slight in build and deceptively unimpressive fully-clothed - his big break came when he was taken on as a trainee cloakroom attendant at Stringbonefellow's first night club in Organford. Here he rapidly developed a reputation for pleasing the ladies, offering them a "guaranteed distraction" whilst their partners entertained themselves in the private booths nearby. It was a win-win for all concerned: husbands were left free to indulge their private passions whilst their wives were - in the phrase of the time - "comprehensively Roger'd". Roger derived his own benefits from the arrangement. From there it was only a matter of time and opportunity before his reputation for "finishing what he started" propelled him into the limelight. His fifth wife, exotic dancer Minnie Thong described him as "a man who knew how to stroke men's ego's and push women's buttons", whilst his 44th child Todger, spoke of his father's "enormous and frequently seminal influence". Speaking at the funeral the Vicar of Our Lady of the Fixed Smile, the Right Reverend Bengt Spire said it was perhaps fitting that Roger was born in Bothenhampton and buried in Long Bredy adding that only Dr Spooner could have done greater justice to the happy and wholly appropriate conjunction of Bothen, Bredy, Long and Hampton.
Roger will, perhaps, be best remembered for his appearance on Dorset Television's World's Strongest Man in 1978 when he managed to pull a 50-ton truck more than 12 yards using a steel hawser attached to his "faithful friend". It stayed faithful to the last and - much to the relief of many and the disappointment of a few - was buried with him today.