Richard Harrod, 1956 - 2014
Richard was one of the original SWC walkers and he particularly enjoyed the "Wandering Artists" section, with whom he wrote and shared his dodgy poetry. He later started the Sunday section of the Saturday Walkers Club, initially with colleagues from Brent Council, but soon widened to all who preferred to walk on a Sunday. As the Sunday section continues to thrive, it is his legacy to the SWC. Many of us who walked with Richard on his Sunday walks will have happy memories of the walks, his company, and his sense of humour - and the poetry of the day, which we were forced to listen to at tea or on the train journey home. And who could forget Richard's cabaret act, of crossing a stile, and the contortions which accompanied it. Being able to take a joke at his own expense, Richard latterly adopted the moniker of "Wobbly Stile".
Richard was accident prone. Aged 20, on New Year's Eve 1976, he was knocked down by a car, suffered a stroke, and was in a coma for several weeks, before commencing his recovery. Richard's slightly slurred speech, the result of the stroke, was mistaken by the unknowing as his being tipsy.
Then in October 2004, when walking the Dover-Deal Book 2 walk, Richard slipped on the cliffs overlooking Dover and he fell onto rocks some distance below, breaking most of the bones in his lower body. After a two year recovery period Richard was able to live independently once again and walk short distances. Although his walking improved, and he did attempt a couple of flat SWC walks with some of us, in reality his country walking days were over.
Undeterred, Richard took up other interests, and remained active in the cut and thrust of local politics, now living in Stanmore. Unfortunately, the third "accident" - the cancer - proved to be one battle too many for him.
His SWC walking friends and companions will have fond memories of him.