Avatar In memory of Dick the Brick

We all remember Bert Papps. What a guy he was – but we’ve talked about him enough.

It’s high time we looked back at the life of another modern hero, one who few of us remember but whose life is charted in a thousand minor local newspaper reports of the late twentieth century. I’m talking, of course, about Dick the Brick.

I have to admit that I had never heard of this remarkable chap until recently, but a search of the Sutton and Cheam Gazette archives tells me that on four occasions – in 1964, 1972, 1980 and 1991 – he was drafted in by the Metropolitan Police as a medium and successfully used spirit guides to help detectives prosecute people who had been dumping trolleys in the canal.

Did Dick the Brick ever turn up in your local paper? Let’s unearth some more of his incredible life.

12 comments on “In memory of Dick the Brick

  • Is that the same Dick the Brick who chafed your chagrin back in ’89?

  • There’s at least seven on my street. That’s where my initial confusion came from. The subsequent confusion came from a lack of any new produce from famed bean enthusiast Kevindo Menendez.

  • That is pretty confusing. But I think I can clear this one up. I carried on digging out nuggets of Dick the Brick and I found a reference in the Aberford and Boston Spa Trumpet to an incident in early 2014 when Dick the Brick was arrested on suspicion of having stolen the Beans password of one Mr Menendez of Garden Village, Micklefield, but was later released as there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute him.

  • I remember the day you got your Grade 5 certificate on the Boston Spa trumpet. It’s such a niche instrument, I’m not sure there’s anyone in the north of England who can play it as beautifully as you. All those solemn, bewitching parps. Just amazing.

  • It is amazing and sounds especially pungent this time of year. I only hope to one day compete with the Allerton Bywater Bugle. What an instrument.

  • I spent many years in my youth learning the Barwick in Elmet Nose Flute, but I think I’d need to take some lessons to get back into it now because I’m really out of practice.

  • Was that you? I thought I could hear something beautiful and lilting over the winter evening air in my youth. How it cleansed. How it poured.

    When I first met Kevin he was trying to master the Whitkirk Whirly Pipe, and even though it sounds like something dirty it wasn’t. Even so…


  • I saw Kevin playing the Whitkirk Whirly Pipe once. Until then I wasn’t aware that you have to play it nude because of the way the outlet valves are vented. Never again.

  • Did it leave a lasting image, as in one that has been burned into the very fabric of your being, never to be un-seen again?

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