Patrick Richardson (1927-1979) - Chris Snuggs et al

The death of Patrick Richardson in a car crash was a sickening and devastating blow to the school. Here are a few Facebook comments followed by miscellaneous press articles.

Marcus Redburn (Orwell 75-79): “Remember the sad day Mr Richardson had that fateful crash on the A12. But our school carried on. A unique school! And boy we pushed the boundaries as students until the slipper came out. Still the best cricket square in Suffolk and best Rugby. We were unique and proud to have been a part of it!!!”

Chris Hopkirk (Halls 72-79): “Spot on Marcus.”

Philip Hart (Orwell 77-82): “Yes,the assembly announcement caused a few sad pupils, myself included, regardless that he caned me (for damn idiotic actions) deserved! I LIKED THE MAN.RIP.”

Philip Flannery (Berners 72-79): “I remember the day well. I was in The Courtyard, and "I will survive" by Gloria Gaynor was number 1. Sad, sad day.”

Chris Snuggs (Berners/Halls 58-65): “I tried to find out how it happened. I found somewhere (can't now remember where) that there was a suspicion he had fallen asleep at the wheel when returning to WHS from London.”

Chris Hopkirk: “I believe it was a very icy road and he was driving back from London, lost control and drove into a lorry.”

Chris Snuggs: “What can one say, except tragic beyond belief - as are all such accidents. I only know him of course from archive material. I would use the word "awesome", but it has become undervalued through misuse: not sure what can replace it .....”

Chris Hopkirk: “Love the letter to "Janus"; bought a sense of pride and comfort when I read it. I don’t remember reading this at the time and to be honest I wouldn’t have appreciated it if I did, at the age of 14. I always knew I was lucky to be at Woolverstone but in a way this captured some of the reasons quite nicely. Thanks for posting it again.”

Jon Kemp (Corners 73-80): “He overtook a lorry and hit an oncoming vehicle. We held a concert in his memory and a recorder group from his previous school came and played. The singing was always good at WH, but on that occasion it seemed to be on another level.

I was in my sixth form dorm doing prep when Richard Withers came and told us he had heard, but couldn't be sure that Tricky Dicky had been killed in an accident. I don't think anyone really believed it at that moment. However, it wasn't until the next morning when Hudson came into the dining room during breakfast and said that there would be a school assembly that morning that we realised the gravity of the situation.”

Chris Snuggs: “He was very special. I always thought WHS very lucky in its Heads, with Smitherman starting it all. This is what he wrote for the 20th anniversary "Janus":

I also really liked G.H.B. who carried on the work in a reliable, intelligent and caring way. Dick Woollett had the hardest task, and it must have been gut-wrenching for him at times. Re John Smitherman, see: WHS - John Smitherman 1971."

Mark Frost - Hansons 70-77: “The Smitherman article is fascinating, and contains much information about the early years. I particularly like the 'demarcation dispute' concerning the hot and cold water supply to Corners - true 1950s Trade Unionism at its 'best' - reminds me of 'I'm Alright Jack' and other films of the era.

And I never knew Patrick Richardson wrote this:"