The late Richard 'Shiner' Wright

Although we were both in the band service at the same time I never met up with Richard until we exchanged our "Bombay Bowlers" for the civvy type when we both became school bands stewards at the East of England show.

As time went on we became stewards for all bands and later on we co-opted Vic Sylvester to the team. During all of this time I found Richard to be kind and understanding and firm. He would always ask us when we wanted to go for lunch and then make his time to fit in with that. On occasions bands would turn up having forgotten their stands, Richard knew other conductors well enough to borrow from them. Similarly if anyone stepped out of line they could be for it. On one occasion a young lady alleging to be from "Health and Safety" came and berated Richard because there were no stewards in attendance. This happened to be a fatal mistake on her part for when he pointed out to her where we all were and then found out that she should not have been there in the first place it was only the presence of the show's General Secretary that saved her from a verbal annihilation.

During the last two shows I felt that all was not well with him but he would never admit to it. This year we arranged for Bill Harrison to join the team and we had one of Richard's former pupils with us for some time by now, thus we were going to be a formidable force in a brand new venue. This was not to be, and although we were hoping Richard would be brought along in his wheel chair to review us, again this was not to be. Until we all make it there, see you in the counter march.

Vic Sylvester, Bill Harrison, Peter Clark and Karen Bentley (Richards one time pupil)

PS. The photograph, taken at the Peterborough Show some three years or so ago, shows from left to right Richard, Peter and Vic

Peter Clark

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