In Memory of Jack Richards

When war broke out Jack was enlisted for the RAF and Sam Hayne told him that he was foolish and that he had no intention of going to war until he was ordered to. Sam was called up within a few days but Jack was home for many weeks. They laughed about this for many years after the war.

During the drought of 76 a water board official toured around asking people to report dripping taps and when he asked Jack if he knew of any dripping taps Jack said
 “yes”. The water board official enthusiastically got out his note book and asked Jack where the tap was. Jack replied “Delabole Cemetery”. This was enthusiastically written into the note book. He then asked Jack how long the tap had been dripping and Jack replied “twenty eight years “.

Jack and I dug the footings for the front shop of Lugg’s Garage with pick, shovel and wheel barrow and wheeled the spoil across the road and tipped it in the old gardens which are now the pavements to Park Penkarnn estate. Obviously there were several barrow loads. One day a teacher saw Jack coming back across the road pulling the empty barrow behind him. The teacher said “Jack why are you pulling the barrow behind you”. Jack replied “I hate the sight of it”.

Many of you will remember that those old gardens were surrounded by vertical slates as can still be seen at Rockhead. Some American tourists asked what their significance was and Jack wickedly told them that it was an ancient burial ground. The Americans took photographs of the slates and went away contented.

Jack was so modest that when he was presented with his Cornwall County Fire Brigade breathing apparatus certificate he left it at the garage. One day when I was tidying up I found it and gave it to Jack, he found a gap in the ceiling at the base of the stairs and slid it into the void never to be seen again until the ceiling has to come down.

Jack was excellent at marching and could change step mid march, an impressive sight. Paul Burden and I were so impressed by this that we wanted to have a go, there we were marching across the workshop floor but could never make the smooth transition from leading with the right leg to leading with the left leg but we had a lot of fun trying.

Jack was nearly always singing or whistling and Paul Burden and George Stone would join in and the three of them would croon away together. I didn’t know the words but if I hear those songs on the radio it brings back the memories

In later years Jack became petrol pump attendant and general handy man at John’s beck and call. There was hardly an hour went by without John shouting “ Jack”, however Jack began to make fun of this and reply “ Yack” in a high pitched voice. Ever since then George, Paul I used to shout “Yack” every time we saw him.

Thanks for the memories Jack.
by Richard Bluet