The following email has been received from the Jon Rankin, stepson of Richard (Dick) Heath, who was a surveyor for Fairey Surveys in the 1960s and again in the early 1970s. Due to a problem with the website email, it was unfortunately only picked up on 28th July, too late for the funeral.
Richard worked (amongst other projects) on the Humber Bridge, and in Libya, and the family would appreciate hearing from anyone who has memories or stories of his time at Fairey Surveys. Please contact Jon direct – contact details at the bottom of the email.
His family have sent a photograph.
I just came across your fascinating site and wanted to share some news with you.
My step father was Richard (also known by most of his friends as Dick) Heath. He married my mum, Pat, in 1969 when I was just 7 years old.
He worked for Fairey Surveys as a land surveyor from the early / mid 60’s though to 69’ when he was seconded to the Directorate of Overseas Surveys, and was posted to the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu). He returned to the UK in 72, and did another stint with Fairey (I believe) before getting a job in 1973 in the Cayman Islands as deputy Chief Surveyor, where he remained until 1980 (that was a tough job!!!). I recall that he talked with incredible fondness about his time working for Fairey, on projects such as the Humber Bridge and the M4, as well as being posted to Saudi Arabia, Libya (including a run in with a certain young Ghadaffi) and the Bahamas (although that may have been on secondment to DOS). I remember meeting his old pal and Fairey’s colleague Mac (I believe Roy McDonnell) who popped up in a number of places where we were posted – he was a character, sadly no longer with us.
I write to you at this time because, very sadly, he passed away two weeks ago, from heart failure. He had been fit and active and mentally with-it right up until the end, and was living in Bath with my mum. His funeral will be held at the Crematorium at Bath on Friday 12th July at 1045. Should any of his ex-colleagues wish to attend they would be most welcome – the address is Haycombe Cemetery, 209 Whiteway Rd, Bath BA2 2RQ
Of course, I perfectly understand if people are not able to attend, but I, my brother and my sisters would be most happy if any of your readers have any stories or anecdotes that they would like to share about Dad – I will gladly pass them on to the rest of the family.
If anyone would like to make contact, I am most happy for you to post this on your site, if you see fit, and share my mobile and email – 07831 505857 and firstname.lastname@example.org
With very best wishes