I can remember well the day of Richard’s interview back in May 2005, even though there had been several other interviews that day. The interview lasted the normal hour, but Richard and I then just sat and talked for at least another hour about all things concerning property management. My PA, Joan Bryce, had sat talking with Richard prior to the interview and he had also made a good first impression with her. The rest, as they say, is history.
Coming from a retail/commercial letting background into the more gentlemanly environs of the Temple was a bit of a culture shock for Richard. In the early days, this sometimes involved a bit of restraining (not physically I hasten to add), particularly the time Richard was about to serve enforcement notices on some tenants for lack of rent payment! Richard quickly picked up the reins of his role with gusto and it was not long before he became a valued member of the Estates team. At Richard’s request, the role was expanded to include sinking funds, utilities, overseeing managing agents and Health & Safety.
It would not be possible to write an article about Richard without mentioning his sense of humour and particularly the seemingly endless repertoire of jokes on virtually every subject under the sun. These, combined with Richard’s upbeat view of life, never failed to bring us through challenging situations and there have been a few of those over the years! Likewise, his approachable and ‘can do’ nature has endeared him to staff and tenants alike, although the latter may not feel quite the same way during rent reviews and lease renewals.
A love of words and a quick mathematical brain drew Richard first to crosswords and later Sudoku. Often during lunchtimes, a very large dictionary would be open on his desk and if you happened to walk in, you would invariably be asked to assist with solving a clue. I was rarely able to help but Richard would always get there in the end.
The sudden passing of Joan Bryce, shortly followed by Tony Braddick, cast a very heavy sadness over the whole department. It was a difficult period for all of us, and I wanted to take this opportunity to express my personal thanks to Richard for all his help and support during those dark times.
Cruises, particularly around the Mediterranean have been a firm favourite of Richard and his wife Julie for many years, so much so that he must by now have bought his own cruise liner. As the number of cruises mounted up, so did the club points, eventually leading to membership of Royal Caribbean’s exclusive Diamond Club. The pandemic has obviously put a stop to cruising for the time being, but I am sure that it will place highly on Richard’s retirement list. So too will golf, which has taken something of a back seat due to work and family commitments over the years.
There is so much more I could say about Richard, but to sum up, he has been an outstanding Estates Officer, a great ambassador for the Estates department and a true friend to many. We will miss him very much and I am sure that all the staff will join me in wishing him a long and happy retirement. May his cruising points go up and his golf handicap go down!
Ian Garwood is responsible for the Inn’s extensive Estate and portfolio of historic properties, covering all aspects from asset management, building repair, major refurbishment projects and property acquisitions to tenant management. Through a joint arrangement with Inner Temple, Ian is also responsible for maintaining the fabric of Temple Church on behalf of both Inns.