In November we heard from Susan of the loss of her youngest brother Chris who, like herself, Judith and Michael, had left his Walthamstow roots and moved down towards the West Country.
Unlike Susan and Judith, Chris did not move onto the Drama Club after leaving Markhouse, although he had been involved in a good number of the school based productions – with our range of programmes showing that this was generally backstage with the scene crew. Chris thereby served his ‘apprenticeship’ and, perhaps inevitably, had continued the family’s thespian interests alongside Judith and Susan – and, indeed, their parents, who were also actively involved with the ‘Supporters Club’ and in hosting many impromptu late evening meetings at their home in Markhouse Road.
After moving ‘West’ Chris became a very dedicated runner with the Cirencester Athletics Club and it is clear from the comments on their website, that he was well-liked and respected; both in their group and within the local community. Chris’s commitment to running was described as ‘immense’ and, indeed, this was not without some success; both within and beyond his local club. In the latter respect Chris gained a place in the Over 60 Great Britain Team; although, sadly, he could not take up his place in the end as he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Although I did not have contact with Chris beyond his early teenage years, I had always found him to be a very friendly and cheerful lad when his parent’s home was invaded by us ‘unannounced’ – but always warmly welcomed – drama club friends of Susan. So I am not at all surprised to have learnt that he still had these very positive personal qualities, nor of how well respected he had become and of his ongoing dedication to his family
It is also clear from Susan, and his Athletic Club friends, that he had a real strength of character and positively fought his illness – still fully and cheerfully involving himself with his family, friends and club throughout its duration. DM.
Chris Riches 1952 – 2019