On 17 March I attended a touching and quite beautiful ceremony at the Brighton Unitarian Church in New Road, conducted by Rev Jane Barton in celebration of the life of Richard Adrian Moorhouse. Members of his family were there, brother David, niece Alison and nephew Peter.
We heard that Dick was a close and loving Uncle. Dick was a loyal attendee of West Hill’s Brighton Film Society and the Community’s monthly quiz. Retiring at 65, he took a very personal interest in politics and local affairs. He was particularly concerned with human rights and actively involved with Amnesty International. It was illuminating to hear from the minister and members of the congregation of Dick’s church about his interests and activities.
The youngest of three sons, born in 1922, he was educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School. As with so many of his generation, WWII interrupted his early adult life and he trained as a wireless operator in the Royal Signals. After the war most of his working life was spent as a clerical officer with British Rail and he also worked on the information desk at Heathrow airport. Janet, his late partner, brought to his life not just her own love but that of her family. The service was attended by Peter, Janet’s brother-in-law, and her nephew Rob. A loving tribute was paid to Dick by Margaret and Felix Gorton, Unitarian church members, mentioning his invaluable work as a careful, conscientious and precise treasurer of the church committee. She told us he loved football, a good curry, the release of Nelson Mandela, and the ending of apartheid in South Africa, and the things that made him angry were injustice, cruelty, intolerance, and he deplored the treatment meted out to prisoners of conscience all over the world, writing to leaders and heads of governments pleading their cases.
West Hill’s very own Reg Woodhouse spoke to the congregation. “I first met Dick when he got together with my neighbour and very special friend, Janet Allison, sometime around the mid-eighties. They were like a couple of sixteen-year-old love birds, which was very endearing and sweet to see. The three of us would regularly go to the local West Hill Community Hall to attend the monthly Quiz night. Between the three of us we had a fairly broad pool of knowledge but it was the infernal picture-round that would often mess us up. Even so, quite a few times we were runners-up and I do believe we did, in fact, win the quiz on at least one occasion. When Janet passed away in 2001 Dick naturally missed her very much indeed and I would, from time to time, pop around to him for a cup of tea and a chat. We also continued to meet up regularly for the Quiz, and more recently I introduced some friends to the ‘Quiz with a difference’ which gave us better results which, I think, he was very happy about. Farewell Dick and may your journey be a good one, whatever that journey might be.”