|6 Jan 2022|
|Deaths & Obituaries|
Written by Roger Gould:
Along with many others I attended Colin’s church funeral on December 21st at Northney village, Hayling Island. He had died after a difficult few months at the age of 89 although he had always looked and acted at least ten years younger. He was President of the Old Boys Society in 1998 and at QEH he had been a prefect and a member of both the Rugby and Cricket 1st teams. He was also selected for the Bristol Public and Grammar Schools Rugby XV when he played in the second row alongside John Currie of BGS who was later an England player.
Colin was extremely modest all his life and rarely mentioned his honours degree in Chemistry at Exeter College Oxford, his D.Phil awarded by Oxford University, and his one year research scholarship at the University of Minnesota. Most of his career was spent lecturing at Portsmouth Polytechnic in the Pharmacy department where he was popular and successful in training very many students for their careers, some of whom were at the funeral service.
The Eulogy was given by his youngest brother who was at Bristol Cathedral School in the 1950s. A local resident spoke about Colin’s sterling work on behalf of people in North Hayling, and I told a few stories about my thirty years of friendship with him and our experiences when at QEH. On the back of the service sheet there was a photo of him striding out to the Bristol streets in his Blue coat in about 1950.
He was fortunate to enjoy 63 years with his wife Pamela having been at junior school together. Pam went to Colston’s Girls School and as an accomplished pianist became a music teacher and choir leader.
Just two weeks before Colin’s passing on November 26th, his distinguished younger brother Donald died. He was at QEH from 1946-53.
Written by Aubrey Matthews:
I am sad to have to report the death of Colin Richards in November 2021. I well remember starting at QEH with him in September 1943 and so starting a lifelong friendship. Colin participated fully in school life, particularly in sporting activities - Rugby 1st XV and Cricket 1st XI, he was a very good batsman/wicketkeeper - and also in school drama productions. We shared a common fanaticism for cricket and I still recall the summers of 1948 and 194 when, in the summer vacations, we attended nearly every home match of Gloucestershire at Bristol, Gloucester and Cheltenham and Somerset at Taunton, Weston-super-Mare and Frome by cycling, hitch-hiking or by bus or by train. There was never any rain to stop play in those summers! It was also whilst boarding that Colin developed a life-long love of piano music and, while having no formal tuition, he doggedly taught himself and became quite a passable performer, especially of Chopin.
As was the norm then, those boys who attempting entry to Oxbridge had to stay for a third year in the VIth Form to take college entrance exams in the Autumn term. Colin stayed on and duly passed to read Chemistry at Exeter College, Oxford. This normally meant that in the next two terms attendance was only required for sporting activities. However, Colin did not have it this easy - it happened that the school was short of a Chemistry Master and Colin found himself teaching chemistry to the lower forms. He did not mind this but was rather aggrieved that he was never paid for his work.
Colin enjoyed Oxford, playing for the college at both Rugby and Cricket and took a 1st Class degree. He stayed on for research and in December 1958 obtained his D. Phil. Immediately following this Colin married Pam, his long term girlfriend from Colston’s Girls School, and 8 days later they sailed for America where Colin had gained a two-year Research Fellowship at the University of Minnesota.
On return to the UK Colin joined John Wyeth but his research career there was halted when he was diagnosed with Benzene poisoning, fortunately successfully treated. Following this he switched to academic life, lecturing in the School of Pharmacy at Portsmouth University where he remained until retirement.
Living on Hayling Island for many years Colin fully participated in the local scene and was for many years Chairman of the Residents’ Association. In retirement, Colin and Pam travelled widely, both in the UK and worldwide. Colin was a devoted family man, he and Pam were married for 63 years and he was very proud of their daughter Suzy and their three grandchildren.
Colin was a faithful supporter of the school, never missing Old Boys’ Dinners each November, and was the President of the Old Boys’ Society in 1998.
In later life, Colin was diagnosed with a heart problem that worsened in 2021 and he spent much of the last six months in and out of the hospital, not helped by the Covid near-paralysis in the NHS. He bore this with fortitude, greatly helped by the devoted attention of Pam and Suzy throughout this difficult period.