Sunday, October 23, 2011

Richard "Dickie" Fenn RIP

This afternoon I heard the sad news that Richard "Dickie" Fenn passed away yesterday.  Dickie used to be the Emergency Liaison Officer for Tower Hamlets Council. This wasn't a 9-5 office job.  Over the years (or rather decades) Dickie and his team used to be on call 24/7 to respond in person to floods, fires, boiler failures and any other emergencies that borough residents experienced including terrorist attacks such as the 1996 IRA Dockland bombing. 

I guess that thousands of East Enders have been glad to see Dickie turn up at say 4am in the morning to sort out a flood and clean up the mess.  I never as a housing officer had any complaints at all about him and his team from residents.  Which is astonishing when you consider the nature of his work.

Check this post out on his retirement "Do" in 1999. My favourite "Dickie" story is this one

"In the 1980’s he was a Head caretaker in Bow and he went to visit a property that had been allocated to a new member of his residential caretaking team. As he entered the flat he found the Caretaker’s pregnant wife with two young toddlers in tears at the state of the flat which was damp, mouldy and totally unfit - which should never had been let to anyone – never mind one of his caretakers. Dickie looked around the home and told the wife to pack up since he was moving them. He then arranged for the family to be moved and stormed off to senior managers and successfully demanded a new and decent home that same very day.

The actual caretaker himself wasn’t aware what had happened until he went home that night to find his old home empty".
  Needless to say Dickie enjoyed huge loyalty and respect from his staff.

Picture is from a trade union safety inspection I did in 2007 when his team was to be based at the new Sutton Street depot.  We were both arguing with management about the traffic safety management system. 

My sincere condolences to Dickie's family and friends at their loss.

Update: To those who want to pay their respects to Dicky. His funeral will be held next Wednesday 2nd November and the details are as follows:
10:00am      Our Lady Immaculate RC Church, 636 Commercial Road, London E14 7HS
11.30am      City of London Cemetery, Aldersbrook Road, Manor Park, London E12 5DQ
2.00pm      Docklands Sailing Centre, 235a Westferry Road, Isle of Dogs, London E14 3QS

His family have requested that donations be made to Marie Curie Cancer Care
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