Good old flamenco days - The legacy of Ron Hitchins
After his passing in 2019, the name of Ron Hitchins still vividly lives on in the UK flamenco community, even for me who unfortunately didn’t have many chances to get close to him.
Flamenco and Art
Although I was aware of his presence in many events held at Peña Flamenca de Londres, and heard of his name through common flamenco friends, probably I was too shy to talk with him. So it was a genuine surprise that he secretly created an artwork entitled with my name as a gift (pictured). I knew that he used to dance flamenco, including his legendary achievement of seventy Sevillanas to mark his 70th birthday, but I didn’t know that he was also a renowned artist:
Whether you had a chance to meet Ron or not, this short film would be the best source to see how Ron loved flamenco and how flamenco loved him:
‘Ron Hitchins; Made in Hackney’ by Claudine Roux, Abdrew Tullis and Lucy Cash (2015)
Living flamenco in Hackney
Although he was strongly attracted to flamenco and Spain, he also adored Hackney and was happy to settle there. London-based filmmaker John Rogers featured him in a short documentary film as one of the most unforgettable artists based in East London. In the footage we can view Ron’s house, after the owner’s sad departure, still holding the air of his affection towards flamenco and arts.
‘Bohemian Hackney - London Fields, Beck Road, Regent’s Canal & Victoria Park’ by John Rogers (2021)
In this very house, many flamenco aficionados used to enjoy flamenco ‘juergas’, spontaneous flamenco parties, until dawn. It also attracted many flamenco stars who visited London, such as Sara Baras, Mario Maya, Miguel Poveda, to name but a few. Steve Carr, a friend of Ron and one of the committee members of Peña Flamenca de Londres, has successfully preserved more than 200 photos recording those precious moments, visualising how his famous ‘juerga’ looked like. Those photos not only show the richness of Ron’s flamenco connections but also indicate his inclusive personality, generosity and charm as a beloved person and as a respected flamenco aficionado.
After losing him, we can’t really imagine anyone else who could replace his uniqueness. We can’t even expect to have such flamenco parties at the same level anymore. However, thanks to the internet, we could virtually revisit his juergas anytime to imagine the good old flamenco days in London.
Flamenco Juergas at Ron’s House - Photo Gallery by Steve Carr