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Lib Dems Mourn Well-Known Local Colleague

March 4, 2019 10:53 AM
By Windsor Liberal Democrats in Windsor Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats in Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough are mourning the loss of long-standing colleague and former Royal Borough Councillor, Richard Fagence.

Richard Fagence (Kate Fagence)

Richard Fagence
9th August 1946 - 16th February 2019

Richard served as a party officer at local and regional level, having first joined the Liberal Party in 1964. He also acted as a trustee and secretary of the Windsor Liberal Club, helping to provide the leadership which sees the club flourishing today as The Acre. Richard was a member of the English Liberal Democrats' national council and attended most Liberal and Liberal Democrat party conferences for over 50 years; on one famous occasion in later years being caught on national TV taking a well earned nap during a prominent speech, much to everyone's amusement.

In the 1990s Richard was a member of the first Liberal Democrat Council Group to run the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. In total Richard served as a Royal Borough councillor for 17 years. During the 2003-2007 Liberal Democrat administration he served as the Lead member for Leisure and Culture. As part of his responsibilities, Richard strove to secure better play spaces for children and improve library facilities - many residents will be familiar with the playground and fountain at Bachelors' Acre and the Pirate Play area at the Clewer War Memorial Park.

Within the Liberal Democrats in Windsor, Richard was the fount of institutional knowledge; with his extensive knowledge of Windsor, election law and campaign practice, he mentored new activists over many years, acting as agent in election after election.

In tribute, Windsor's Conservative MP, Adam Afriyie said,

"Richard was a shrewd and tough campaigner. We often disagreed, but he always had our area at heart."

Born in Maidenhead, Richard grew up in Gloucestershire and studied Politics and Linguistics at Lancaster before taking a Certificate of Education at St Edmunds, Cambridge. Whilst at Lancaster Richard appeared as part of their 'University Challenge' team.

Richard returned to live in Windsor upon gaining a post as Head of Modern Languages in a school in Slough. Later he went to Saudi Arabia to help teach technical English to the Royal Saudi Air Force in support of the Lightning fighter project and he would often recount potentially lethal confusions when instructing on the use of an ejector seat!

On his return to the UK, Richard went to work as a salesman for BMW, where he met his wife of 28 years, Catherine. Although his passions were politics and cars, new colleagues who managed to really get Richard talking, would quickly find the topic brought round to how he had first met Catherine and couldn't help but be left understanding his depth of feeling for her.

For 10 years prior to retirement, Richard worked as a call handler for Thames Valley Police, handling emergency calls.

Outside of politics, Richard Fagence liked to collect stamps, having begun a fine collection of Arabian stamps whilst working in the Middle East. Over the years Richard acquired a large collection of political books, by authors from all parties and none, many of which were autographed. Richard was was a dedicated Everton supporter and also an accomplished cook whose culinary skills left Catherine's friends in envy!

Richard died at home with his wife, Catherine, on 16th February. He will be much missed by Liberal Democrats locally, as will his fine collection of party anecdotes and his strong commitment to delivering social justice.