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Remembering Rick with love
God love you
This is my brother Richard Tyrone Drakes (b.1944), as a young child, at school, and with his wife Sheila Kathleen Tait (b.1949) on their wedding day on 30.3.1968. Tragically they both died young: Rick died in 1991 age 47; Sheila died in 1992, age 42. May God bless them both and keep them safe.
Rick on his pony 'Becky-Sue' about at Pulloxhill, Bedfordshire about 1947, just after World War II.
1977 The Silver Circle Country & Western Club - Rick is in the front row, far right with glasses.
Rick was a Post Office (GPO), later British Telecom (BT), telephone engineer for most of his working life. His lifetime hobbies & interests included: membership of a Western re-enactment society called 'Chiltern Cowboys'; reading about the old Wild West, the American Civil War, North American Indians; Country & Western music; and American cars. Sadly, he never managed to afford a trip to the United States - it was his dream to visit some of the historical sites such as The Alamo.
About 1967 - Rick on one of his several motorbikes.
In the 1960s, he was a keen motorcyclist. He was a ‘Track Marshal’ at various UK motorcycle race tracks, included Snetterton, and was a regular visitor, as a spectator, to most motorcycle tracks near London and the home counties. He visited the Isle of Man TT races, and was a regular visitor during the early years at Santa Pod drag-racing track in Bedfordshire. He once owned the following motorcycles: a 1940s Indian Chief (bright red with a side car), a 1942 750cc Harley Davidson (pale metalic blue with a 'cowboy saddle'), an ex-works Rocket Gold Star, a 1000cc Vincent (Black Shadow?), a Bianchi, a Triumph Tiger Cub, a 650cc Matchless with sidecar (number plate 'oddy for two': ODY42), and a 1950 500cc Sunbeam S7 (Mist Green) - a straight twin with a car-type clutch, shaft-drive and wet cylinder-liners. I later bought the 1942 Harley and the 1950 Sunbeam S7 from him; such old bikes were then for sale at £25 each; many are now worth £3,000 to £6,000 each, sometimes more, but £25 was a lot of money then!
photo by Chris Drakes September 2012
A 1950s mist-green Sunbeam S7 luxury motorcycle, just like the one Rick, then I, once owned during the 1960s. This one was on display at the Wragby Show & Country Fair, Lincolnshire; the grey bike behind was the sports version: Sunbeam S8.
Rick was a good and loyal friend to all who knew him, including me.
"Humans need fantasy to be human. Take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder and sieve it through the finest sieve and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet you act, like there was some sort of rightness in the universe by which it may be judged: Yes. But people have got to believe that or what's the point?” Terry Pratchett