A SECOND World War veteran who helped to build Britain's first Park and Ride in Oxford has died aged 103.

Ronald Frampton helped build roads and hospitals in East Africa during the war, then brought his military planning and expertise to the city.

He also helped build St Ebbes multi-storey car park and was a lifelong member of Didcot Bowls Club.

Ronald Harold Frampton was born in Enfield, Middlesex, on March 5, 1917.

After leaving school he took his first job at Enfield Steel Mills in 1935, but after discovering what the job was like he rapidly applied for another job with Enfield Urban Council.

Although he wasn’t selected for that position, he was offered an alternative as a timekeeper and cost clerk in the engineer’s department, the beginning of his 46-year career in local government.

He was then offered a position of an articled pupil to Frank Lee Esq. F.I.C.E, F.I Mun.E., F.R.I.C.S, starting his trade as a civil engineer and surveyor.

He studied three nights a week at the Northampton Polytechnic in London (now the City University) and, at the outbreak of war, supervised the construction of 180 large concrete air raid shelters in just 12 months.

In 1940 he married his first wife Margaret (Peg) Dorothy Woodfield in Edmonton, Middlesex. They had met through their Baptist church and went on to have five children.

That was also the year that he joined the Army, first serving with the Royal Artillery and later with the Royal Engineers.

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He initially installed the first gun sites at Blackpool and fired the first ack-ack gun there, but then spent 18 months protecting the fleet at Scapa Flow before returning to London to supervise the building of gun sites.

In 1943, now a Sargent with the Royal Engineers, he was stationed in East Africa where he worked on the building of camps, hospitals, roads, slipways and radar stations.

After the war he returned to Enfield and was involved in the rebuilding of London, including prefab construction, road and sewer projects.

During this period, he worked on the first proposed routes for the Enfield Ring Road. Forty years later this proposed route was the foundation of part of the M25.

In 1951 he moved to Wales as principle assistant engineer with the County Borough of Newport.

While there he was involved in managing drainage of residential areas and tidal flow on the River Usk and providing roads and bridges for the main approach road for the Llanwern steel works.

Mr Frampton moved to Abingdon in 1961 to take up become chief assistant engineer in Oxford, then later deputy city engineer.

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He joined primarily to work on the relief road projects often called ‘the road that never was’, including the notorious Meadow Scheme to build a new relief road through Christ Church Meadow.

Although the whole idea was eventually abandoned, Mr Frampton felt strongly that if the project had proceeded it would have solved many of the traffic problems Oxford still faces today.

Two projects that he was especially proud of were the construction and equipment used on the St Ebbes multi-storey car park and the first Park and Ride in Britain at Redbridge.

Partly because of his work on these jobs, in 1973 he was elected to the Britain Parking Association (BPA), rising to become vice chairman in 1977 and president in 1981.

He married his second wife Rose May in Oxford in 1974 after meeting her at their dancing club.

The couple lived in Ryman's Court, Didcot, and Mr Frampton stayed there until he moved into Bridge House care home in Abingdon just two years ago.

Outside of his prodigious career, Mr Frampton was a keen bowler and a lifelong member and one-time president of Didcot Bowls Club.

He passed away on April 18, aged 103, while recovering from Covid-19.

He is survived by his children Alan, Margaret, Elizabeth, Ian and Hazel, ten grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

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