|On Monday, 23rd February 2004, local Town and Borough
Councillor, Richard Davies died of a suspected heart attack. He was 65.
Many tributes have been written in the several days since his death.
One newspaper headline aptly described him as a 'dedicated and caring
He was a friend to many who live in Wivenhoe. Born in Treorchy, in
Wales, his Welsh lilt was familiar to a lot of people. At the age of 14 he
went down the mines but after a few years he joined the 1st Battalion of
the Royal Anglian Regiment and served in Aden and Cyprus amongst other
Following 14 years in the army, he bought a house in Shrub End with his
wife, Margaret, and started a family of three boys. He and Margaret had
been married for 41 years.
22 years ago he came to Wivenhoe. By then he had joined what was then
British Rail as an electrical engineer and rose to a position of Chief
Electrical Engineer. His last job before retirement was working on the
In 1995 he was elected onto Wivenhoe Town Council and became Town Mayor
for the year 2000-1. In May 2002 he was elected as an Independent Borough
Councillor for Wivenhoe Quay Ward as well as remaining a Town Councillor.
He had been involved with various local organisations including the
Royal British Legion, Congregational Scouts, Stuart Pawsey Court and Wivenhoe Allotment and
Over the last year he had been actively participating in discussions
about a new Health Centre for Wivenhoe. And before that worked closely
with me to negotiate a better deal for Wivenhoe out of the Cook's Shipyard
His funeral took place in St Mary's Church on Tuesday, 2nd March, 2004,
and the Church was packed.
Donations rather than flowers have been requested by the family
and their chosen causes are St Mary's Organ Fund or Wivenhoe Communty Bus.
Donations can be sent to Wivenhoe Town Council, Council Offices, 77 High
Street, Wivenhoe CO7 9AB.
He will be greatly missed by all his friends and colleagues. He was
always jovial and willing to do anything for anybody. He was an active a
Councillor and was involved in many projects over his years on Wivenhoe
Town Council, as well as raising thousands of pounds for local causes. He
was 'down to earth' describing himself regularly as a 'nuts and bolts'
man. His time and efforts to progress plans for a new
Health Centre was especially appreciated by everybody involved in that
project. His early passing is a great loss to us all.
Cllr Peter Hill, Deputy Town Mayor
[Note: by mid-March, £622 had
been raised for the Communty Bus and £467 for the Organ Fund in his
memory. Contributions are still welcome and can be sent to Wivenhoe Town
A special tribute to Richard Davies by Cllr Gilli Primrose, Wivenhoe Town
It was with great sadness that we heard on Monday 23rd February that
our dear friend and colleague, Councillor Richard Davies, collapsed and
died on his way to his beloved allotment.
was not only a valued colleague, as a Town Councillor and Borough
Councillor, but also a special friend. He stood as an Independent, like
me, and my first real contact with him was when we met at a pre-election
gathering, to see how we could help each other win our places on the Town
Council. At that meeting I was struck with the kindness and strength
of this big man with the lovely lilting accent.
I was not to be disappointed in the years to come, as Richard
supported and helped me become a Town Councillor and, lately, Mayor. As
well as the enormous amount of work Richard put in for normal council
work, he and Margaret were always there to help with any fund raising
project, as part of the very small team who manage to set everything up
(and clear away afterwards), and without whom none of these events would
be able to take place.
As Richard was retired, he was often available to attend site
meetings and meetings with Borough that invariably took place during the
day. He, therefore, became involved in most of the big projects, and his
input (as a down-to-earth engineer) was invaluable to the Town Council.
Many is the time that I have asked him to take a look at something causing
concern, or attend a meeting on my behalf, and he has reported back with a
viewpoint that is sound, and not couched in ‘council-speak’.
Richard was a familiar sight around the Town on his bicycle, and was
perceived by locals as a very approachable man, who would always stop and
listen to you, and then get something done! This ability to keep in touch
with ordinary people was one of his great talents, and it is in this that
he will be greatly missed by so many.
When Richard took on the role of Borough Councillor, the Town had an
energetic and forceful crusader in the Town Hall, bringing his wealth of
experience and knowledge to the task. He worked tirelessly for Wivenhoe
and its people and it is indicative of this involvement that there has
been an enormous, and immediate, response to his death from so many people
in the wider community.
His wife, Margaret has asked that there be only family flowers at
his funeral at 1.00pm at St Mary’s on Tuesday 2 March, and that anyone
wishing to donate, may choose between the Wivenhoe Communty Bus or St
Mary’s Church Organ Fund. In this way, even in death, Richard is still
helping the community he loved so much, and in which he took such an
Our condolences go to Margaret and the boys, as well as his
grandchildren, who will have our support in the months to come. I am sure
that I speak for all the councillors and residents of Wivenhoe when I say
that we will miss him, and that he will be remembered with great affection
for many years to come.
Cllr Gilli Primrose
Wivenhoe Town Mayor
At Richard's funeral, Betsy Edwards read the following poem. Betsy is Warden at Stuart Pawsey Court,
which Richard was Chairman of the Committee. Betsy is a close friend
of Richard and Margaret. The
author of the poem is Ann Rayner who has very kindly consented for it to
published in this way.
But let me like a child return
To Mother's arms, and let me yearn
To once again believe the song
Of somewhere where I do belong;
To falling rain and sparkling snow,
and in the hearth, the fire aglow;
to all the bells that peal with dawn
throughout our town on Christmas morn;
to all the innocence of youth
and all the searching for the truth;
to all the seasons, bright and grey ,
that made me what I am today;
to joyful laughter, brimming eyes,
to all hellos and all goodbyes!
Of love and hope!
There's order here,
No need to fear;
It is beyond our ken.
Accept the Scheme
And hold your dream,
For life's a dance,
A game of chance
We'll never play again.
So play it well! Be of good voice!
Lift high your heart and so rejoice!
Put on your costume, take the stage,
And play your part from age to age!
Be true to you and true to me,
And what may happen. we shall see.
Let passion soar and kindness reign,
And somehow we shall meet again.
I may be older,
Yet there's my soul in younger eyes.
And older ones, they look at me
And sometimes envy what they see.
Continuum of life itself
In family photos on the shelf.
by Ann Rayner