Posted: September 18th, 2020
WE ARE very sad to have to announce the death, on September 12  of AMP committee member and former MGN finance man RICHARD POLYBLANK. Richard joined Mirror Group in 1974, and enjoyed a long and succesful career moving through the ranks in the finance department. He retired in 2008. He met Irene, his wife of more than 40 years, at the Mirror.
His private funeral will be held at Pitsea Crematorium on October 9. Donations in his name, if desired, can be made to St. Luke’s Hospice, Basildon (https://stlukeshospice.com/donating-or-fundraising-in-memory/) and the Leukaemia Unit at the UCLH Hospital in London (https://www.uclh.nhs.uk).
Tributes from friends and colleagues
FORMER Mirror Group Newspapers deputy finance director JOHN HEMPLE: Richard Polyblank died at home with his family at his side. He met his lovely wife-to-be Irene when they both started work, on the same day, in the Mirror’s finance department. He leaves Irene, his two children Darren and Claire, and six grandchildren.
He was an avid West Ham supporter but we forgave him for that a long time ago.
I knew Richard for many years as we worked our way through the finance department and went on to hold senior management positions. He was a solid and most capable accountant, and after the demise of Maxwell it was to him I turned when we needed to take control of our pension schemes back into the Mirror.
Richard worked tirelessly, and quickly and successfully set up procedures and accounting controls for the pensions office. I, and all AMP members, will remain thankful and partly in his debt. A great colleague and, for me, a true friend. Those who knew him will miss him greatly.
AMP secretary GERALD MOWBRAY: Richard Polyblank joined the AMP Committee at the February, 2011 meeting, when Joanna Matthews, recently appointed Independent Chairman of the MGNS Trustee Board, was our guest speaker.
The main topic at the meeting was future MGNPS funding, an area which Richard was particularly interested in as a result of his previous MGN role as financial accountant, and taking over the pension finances during the difficult 1992 period.
During 2012, Richard missed some AMP meetings due to his developing illness, but he attended at times during the next five years when he was in remission. In 2016, Richard was set to become AMP’s deputy treasurer so as to understudy Roy White – before Roy’s forthcoming retirement after some 16 years’ service [at that time] – but sadly Richard’s illness intervened again.
He was an active and positive participant, and we will miss his contribution to AMP Committee affairs.
On a personal note, I met up with Richard several times during our overlapping time at MGN. I always found him both helpful and professional in dealing with financial matters and, in particular, with the introduction of new technology during the 1980s.
AMP treasurer RAY EVANS: Dick and I had a good working relationship, going back to the times of financial duties away from the mainstream workings of MGN, e.g. the Mirror dinghy stable of boats. We also worked closely when we formed Maxwell Building Enterprises, taking most of the admin and building services away from the Mirror for ease in servicing the entire group. We brought them back into the Mirror after Maxwell’s death, in readiness for a Stock Market float. Dick was always there during that hair-pulling time, exchanging accurate and timely financial information. He will be remembered by me as a conscientious and honest colleague and will be sorely missed. I extend my condolences to his family.
Former AMP treasurer ROY WHITE: My wife and I have known Richard and Irene since 1972 when I transferred from IPC to MGN. Richard and I worked together until I left in 1988.
It was a friendly accounts department. They organised outings to the theatre once a month with a meal afterwards – they were happy times.
Richard and I stayed friends after I left the Mirror 1988. It was the six of us – John (Hemple), Richard and me, and our wives. Richard and Irene were a lovely couple, and and I have said to Irene that when we are out of lockdown, the five of us will continue meeting for lunch.
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