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Keep the suggestions coming for memorial to Fakenham haulage hero Jack Richards

PUBLISHED: 06:48 22 May 2014

Jack Richards.

Jack Richards.

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We asked the question and you have come up with some excellent ideas for how Fakenham should honour the memory of much-loved haulage hero Jack Richards.

Jack Richards & Son lorryJack Richards & Son lorry

The entrepreneur who, over four decades, built up a multi-million pound transport business, died on May 12 at the age of 90.

And after we asked in The Times last week how the town should honour its best known businessman people have come up with a range of suggestions from a statue or plaque to a lorry parade to recognise his achievements both in business and for local charities.

Both the new Fakenham mayor Jeremy Punchard and Col David James, chairman of the Fakenham and District branch of the Royal British Legion which Mr Richards was a member of for 68 years, have urged the town to keep coming up with ideas so they can have a round table discussion for the most fitting tribute.

Mel Smith emailed us to say that the idea of a memorial was “extremely fitting and a must”.

He added: “As a suggestion, how about a statue of the man himself? This would be an everlasting tribute to a man who has done so much for the town.” He also suggested a memorial garden, fenced in with seating, a couple of trees, and a marble block with a memorial bronzed plaque.

Ann Dagless said the town sign at Holt Road/ Queens Road junction could be changed to include a Jack Richards lorry. “A good idea and fitting tribute to last forever,” she said.

While Margaret Tomlinson wanted to reflect some of Mr Richards’ charity work with “a fleet of two (or three) new yellow buses, with red writing ‘Jack Richards Community Bus’ to service elderly, disabled and disadvantaged groups in the town and surroundings. It would be a fitting memorial for a man who headed a national transport fleet and would be a very welcome replacement for the the very old, dilapidated buses currently used by Fakenham Area Transport, which Jack Richards have generously supported over many years.”

Our youngest contributor Tristan Howell, aged 10, came up with a celebratory event as a suggestion. “I think on his birthday every year they should have a Jack Richards lorry parade,” he said.

Mr Punchard said some ideas were not practical, and some were not within the powers of the town council – but he was pleased that a discussion had started which proved the town’s affection for Mr Richards.

“It depends on what we can do,” he said. “One person came up to me with the idea of re-naming a road, which would be down to the district council, so something like that wouldn’t fit within the town council’s remit.

“But of course we’d like people to make us aware of their thoughts – as long as they are respectful of Mr Richards and his family – so we have got a picture of what the whole community wants.”

Col James added: “Enough people want it to happen, so it will happen. Jack Richards was a very very nice man and an important man here in Fakenham.”

Mr Punchard said ideas could be suggested to the town council via town clerk Linda Jennings (01328 853653 or email info@fakenhamtowncouncil.co.uk).

* The family of Jack Richards are holding a private funeral, to be followed by a service of thanksgiving at the parish church of St Peter and St Paul in Fakenham on Tuesday, June 3 at 1.30pm. Family flowers only but, donations for either the Royal British Legion or the Norfolk Hospice may be given at the service or sent c/o Fakenham and District Funeral Services, Weasenham, PE32 2TF. Tel. (01328) 838838.


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