Dick Symonds

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Dick Symonds – A Tribute to A True Gentleman

It is with great sadness that we have to report that Dick passed away on Friday May 8th at home with the whole family with him. Blanche has lost a loving husband of some 60 years and Helen a beloved father and also, he was a much-loved grandfather to Helen and Richard’s children. The Aspect Committee would like to express their sincere condolences to Dick’s family at this sad time. Dick was born in Hilgay near Downham Market in Norfolk. He was born a Norfolk man but although he did not come to Market Bosworth until 1957, he has been and always will be regarded as a Bosworth man. The most important people in his life were his family, Blanche, daughter Helen, son in law Richard and grandchildren, Adam, Edward, Ruth, Owen, Seth, Max, and Harry. He had one older sister, Joan, to whom he was very close and who sadly predeceased him a few years ago. His family was everything to Dick and he was very proud of Helen and of all his grandchildren.

When Dick arrived in Market Bosworth in 1957 after being transferred from the Leicester office while working for the Ordnance Survey he was at first reluctant to leave Leicester for the countryside but soon felt at home in the Bosworth community eventually meeting Blanche at a men versus women cricket match in Bosworth during which he was bowled out and presumably bowled over! By Blanche. Dick later invited Blanche out for a drink at the Red Lion and they eventually married in St. Peter’s Church on September 5th, 1959. Dick became fully involved in all aspects of life in the town becoming an active member of the Parish Council in 1979. His involvement with the Parish Council was to last for 40 years during which time he was Vice Chairman of the council for some 15 years. One of his proudest moments was to represent the Parish Council at the memorial service in the square on the day that the cortege of King Richard lll stopped there en route to Leicester Cathedral. He was also proud to play a major role in choosing the site of the new cemetery in Shenton Lane and he was the Chairman of the cemetery working party.

Dick was a founder member of Bosworth in Bloom in 1985 and worked tirelessly to ensure that the town was at its best not only for the Britain in Bloom competition but more importantly for the people of Market Bosworth. He became chairman of Bosworth in Bloom and then honorary president. He also sat on the East Midlands in Bloom Committee for many years. For over 25 years Dick was an integral part of Aspect Community Magazine commencing with helping to staple the pages of the magazine together at compilation time to his many interviews of local personalities of the month and culminating in his role of Chairman of Aspect Magazine. He was an accomplished bridge player and would spend his Wednesday evenings in the Parish Hall enjoying a few hands of Bridge with friends. Once a month he would take part in the quiz night at the Red Lion and he loved solving all kinds of puzzles and crosswords in the daily papers.

Dick loved his sport particularly Cricket and Rugby Union and he would spend his summers watching cricket at Grace Road whenever he could and his winters watching Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on a Saturday afternoon and also going down to Cadeby lane to watch Bosworth play, usually getting a seat in the home dug out sheltering from the cold winter weather! I was fortunate to share his love of both cricket and rugby and for many years together with other friends we would not only watch the rugby at home in Leicester but would travel to many away games as a group. We would leave Bosworth early on a Saturday morning driving to such destinations as Bath, Northampton, Bristol and Gloucester, Sale, and various other locations in London to watch the Tigers take on the opposition. On most occasions we came home after seeing the Tigers win well away from home and at the season’s end there was usually a trip to Twickenham for a final. But more important than the games or the result was the friendships we all shared and the camaraderie that comes with friends enjoying each others company. I would be invited to Dick’s home to watch the 6 Nations with him on the television and was privileged to be invited to share family events with Dick and his family where I was always made welcome. Those of us who have had the good fortune to count Dick as a close friend will miss him greatly, but we will all be better people for having known him.

Peter Folwell


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