Archived News and Events

Richard and Mary Lucas

Most, if not all, of you will know by now of the tragic accidental deaths of our stalwart members and staunch Lincolnians Richard and Mary Lucas, while holidaying in their beloved Dordogne region. The following note is not intended as an obituary nor a comprehensive life history, but in recognition of just some of the many contributions that they made individually and jointly to their native city.


Richard was a scion of the Lucas building firm, and his family played a significant role in civic life. Richard himself served as a Conservative city councillor 1966-72, while two of his predecessors had been Mayor.  Richard’s father ‘Dick’ Lucas was one of the founder members of the Lincoln Civic Trust in 1953. We remember particularly his son’s many prominent activities for the Trust, from whose presidency he retired only last year, while still contributing a retrospective piece for its latest annual report – a publication that Richard and Mary compiled jointly for many years. Lucas’s firm had used St Mary’s Guildhall for many years, until 1975, as its yard(!). It was appropriate then that Richard was prominent in the restoration scheme for the Guildhall, along with its architect Bob Pilling, which was completed in 1986. Here the Trust still resides. Up until the last he was still a member of the team that reviewed and commented on planning applications. He was for several years Chair of the Jews Court (and Bardney Abbey) Trust and was still a Trustee.  In addition he served for many years as a governor of his and Mary’s old school (Lincoln Christ’s Hospital), in particular using his shrewd commercial expertise to help it to realise the value of its property assets. He and Mary made useful contributions to the cathedral community. Survey members will recall particularly his anecdotes of life, both personal and civic, in the city in the mid to late 20th century. Some of these have appeared in earlier issues of The Lincoln Enquirer.


His wife Mary (née West), was born into another prominent Lincoln commercial family, and was just as active as Richard in many other ways.  Not only did she too write articles for the newsletter, but members of the Survey will remember how she both ensured that the domestic arrangements for our public meetings went smoothly, as well as making regular contributions to our booklet series. Some of these articles were based on first-hand experience, while others were the result of her own researches. She had a very lively mind.  Mary had been a French teacher; at times she taught supply.  For a while in the early 1990s she was my French conversation tutor. Somehow, Mary somehow found the energy to complete two advanced degrees at Nottingham University, first an MA in local and regional history (1985) and subsequently a PhD thesis (1998) analysing the evidence of wills for religious attitudes in Lincoln at the time of the Reformation.  All this was achieved in addition to her duties to four children and later eight grandchildren, to whom generosity and support flowed. I always enjoyed her excellent Xmas puddings, the proceeds from which were donated to the cathedral, where she had also trained as a guide.


Richard and Mary were truly loyal servants of their city, and we shall miss them very much.

MJJ May 2016

Richard and Mary's funeral  was held on 6 June 2016, at Lincoln Cathedral

2016 Additions

                   Old Lincoln allotment photos webpage

The Survey of Lincoln is grateful to Bishop Grosseteste University for its generous financial contributions towards the production costs of the reprinted versions of
Monks Road: Lincoln's East End through Time and Uphill Lincoln I: Burton Road, Newport and the Ermine Estate.

The aim of The Survey of Lincoln is to compile and publish information about the history of the city. Historical documents, archaeology, architectural features and local topography - they all have a part to play in building a vivid picture of what Lincoln was like. Who the earlier inhabitants were, what they did, and where they lived is all part of the giant historical jigsaw we are slowly piecing together. - Chris Johnson (former chairman)