Richard (Dickie) Dean 1922 - 2011
Richard learnt to ring as a youth at Great Marlow in Buckinghamshire, having had his first lesson there in 1935. After serving in the Royal Navy for the war years (with much time spent in the Indian and Pacific Ocean on minesweepers), Richard returned home and resumed ringing. He was a well known ringing character in the Marlow area for many years although his shift work as an ambulance driver did curtail his extra-curricular ringing activities. There are many better qualified than I to write of his contributions to the local ringing scene in Berks and Bucks during the 1950s and 1960s. He was a member of the Cumberland Youths.
On retirement in 1977, Richard and Betty decided to move closer to their only son, Paul, who had emigrated to Sydney. Richard immediately made an attachment to All Saints, Parramatta, to which tower he gave loyal and sterling service for another 30 years. Richard could always be depended upon to be there for practice night or Service ringing. He was an integral part of the band and called several peals for the local ringers. In later years he took part in peals of Yorkshire and Cambridge Surprise Major at Parramatta and was an enthusiastic member of the Wednesday lunchtime quarter peal band at St Mary’s Cathedral in the city.
About four years ago, poor health caused him to give up his beloved car and ringing itself became uncomfortable. However, Richard retained his sense of humour and an interest in all things ringing until his death on 2nd December 2011.
A celebration of Richard’s life was held in Richmond, NSW and during which a course of Grandsire Triples was rung on handbells. Richard is survived by Betty, his son Paul, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In March, Richard and Betty would have celebrated 70 years of marriage.