1939 - 2014

Ray was born in Williamstown, near Penygraig, South Wales, in 1939 where he lived with his parents and his older sister Sylvia. The family moved to Llantwit Major in 1942 and he acquired a younger brother, Peter, in 1947.

He met his wife Val whilst on an RAF posting near Stafford and married her in September 1962. They lived in lodgings in Llantwit Major for the first couple of years of marriage and then bought a house in Cefn Glas, Bridgend which became the family home. Their daughter Karen was born in 1970 and their son Alun in 1972. Over the years his children gave him seven grandchildren namely Joshua, Alice, Oliver, Lucy, Morgan, Megan and Nakita.

Ray’s marriage to Val was always extremely important to him and it’s fair to say that their enduring love kept him going through hard times. They were married for 52 years.

Ray was a keen sportsman. He played soccer and rugby for Llantwit Major and then went on to play rugby and cricket for Dinas Powys. He was a “full on” player of rugby, certainly his manner of play would induce trepidation and “indignation” (polite way of expressing it!) into the opposition. He frequently came home battered and bruised from rugby on Saturday evenings not always from the rugby but quite often from the celebratory drinks after! Saturdays would involve a rugby match, dropping kit off in Barry and then continuing onto Llantwit Major for fish and chips at the local chippie where his mam worked. He trained as a soccer referee and used his interest in soccer in later life to help out with Penyfai football team.

He was a keen churchgoer in his teens and became a chorister and server at St Illtud’s, Llantwit Major. At the same time he also learnt the art of church bellringing at Llantwit Major under the tutelage of Harry King the then tower captain. This was an activity he really enjoyed and he continued with it until recent years when ill-health made it impossible. After moving to Bridgend, Ray joined Tom Petty’s band of ringers at St Illtud’s, Newcastle, Bridgend. When Tom died in 1993 Ray took over the tower captaincy. He rang in Bridgend until 2003 and then moved to become tower captain at Laleston. During his ringing career he completed 73 peals, three of which he conducted. He also taught numerous people to ring and was very supportive to other local towers, particularly Coity, Peterson-Super-Ely, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and Penyfai.

Ray’s working career started in Cardiff at a depot overseen by British Rail. He then went on to work at Aberthaw cement as a despatch supervisor at Rhoose works initially and then Aberthaw. He was often asked to cover at Carmarthen and Bristol which meant long journeys and time away from home. He remained with the cement works till retiring through ill health in December 1991.

As mentioned earlier Ray did his bit for Queen and Country when he was conscripted into the RAF in 1959. He did his two years national service and decided he would stay on an extra year as the pay was more attractive. Somehow he managed to get a superb 6-month posting to Travis Air Base in sunny California.

I think it is fair to say that we will all remember Ray as an all round nice guy; always positive, cheerful and helpful despite his family difficulties and problems with ill health. His friends from earlier days will also remember him as boisterous and always the life and soul of the party. He was certainly known by a lot of people. If he went anywhere he always either seemed to be recognised by someone or would soon be chatting to strangers and making new friends. As a dad he was patient, encouraging and led by example. As a friend he was always loyal and there to help when his friends were in need. His kindness was certainly repaid by friends in recent times when his ill health came to the fore. He was a fighter and 25 years ago he bravely fought off leukaemia only for it to return again in the last 2 years. To keep it at bay he was subjected to regular chemotherapy but always remained positive about his outlook. Ray died peacefully on 18th February at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend four days before his 75th birthday.

He will be sadly missed by us all.



The following quarter peals were rung in memory of Ray Mayle. They were rung at towers where Ray rang regularly by friends who rang with him for many years.

Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan. 24 Feb, 1260 Grandsire Doubles (half-muffled): Andrea Kane-Akers 1, Marice Sherlock 2, David Bounds (C) 3, Peter G Mayle 4, Barry D Morgan 5, Roger Sheal 6.

Laleston, Bridgend. 3 Mar, 1260 Doubles (11m): Philippa Coulson 1, Andrea Kane-Akers 2, Marice Sherlock 3, David Bounds 4, Barry D Morgan (C) 5, Glenda Davies 6.

Coity, Bridgend. 4 Mar, 1260 Doubles (3m): Glenda Davies 1, Frederick G Custerson 2, Marice Sherlock (C) 3, Barry D Morgan 4, Melville Oglesbee 5, Philip Williams 6.

Pen-Y-Fai, Bridgend. 7 Mar, 1260 Doubles (3m): Andrew Giles 1, Andrea Kane-Akers 2, Peter G Mayle (C) 3, Marice Sherlock 4, David Bounds 5, Barry D Morgan 6.

Peterston-Super-Ely, Vale of Glamorgan. 17 Mar, 1259 Grandsire Doubles: Heather Hensman 1, David Bounds (C) 2, Barry D Morgan 3, Marice Sherlock 4, Peter G Mayle 5, Philip Glanville 6.


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