Our friend John Boucher sadly died on NewYears Eve
(Thursday 31st December 2015).

John was out on his bike an it would seem that he had a fatal heart attack. Apparently the coroner has ruled that death was due to natural causes.

Please find below firstly two 'write-ups' about John. The first is by David Greenaway, a cyclist who was with John when he died and was written for his CTC friends. The second is by Mike Wake and gives some details about John's life. Then there is a scan of the "order of service" from the funeral, and finally a copy of the tribute that Mike gave at the funeral (apologies for the duplication between this and Mike's 'write-up' - they were written for two different purposes, the 'write-up' to be sent by email and the eulogy to be read at the service).

This link:
http://www.family-announcements.co.uk/gloucestershire/view/3980689/boucher
should take you to the Gloucestershire Echo newspaper’s online obituary column entry for John’s funeral.


From David Greenaway:

This is a ride report I did not want to have to write, but I know many of you will want to know so here's my report of the last ride I ever had with John Boucher.

After a very poor Wednesday, Thursday dawned with glorious winter sunshine. A great opportunity for a ride out to join the club at Toddington station. I planned to take my usual route through Whittington along to Charlton Abbots up past Roel gate then on to Kineton and down Stanway hill.

I had a clear ride up the A40 and shortly after turning off to Whittington I met up with John. One of the nicest parts of the Thursday morning runs are these chance meetings on the way. John and I fell into an easy pace talking about this and that.

John suggested the route though Sevenhampton as the lane from Brockhampton had been resurfaced. On the road up to Roel gate John did say he wasn't climbing too well today, but we had plenty of time so we took it easy.

We reached the Roel gate junction while John was telling me about his plans for the end to end ride in the summer, as we started down the road to Kineton we chatted about photography. The ride from Roel gate to Kineton is one of my favourite local roads. We both agreed what a treat is was to be out on such a lovely morning in such wonderful countryside.

We went at our own pace down the hill to Roel gate farm, with John in front. Near the bottom we both slowed down as there was a bit of gravel on the road, with John still in front. John suddenly appeared to be in trouble, he lost control and hit the road hard. When I got to him he was on the ground and whatever had happened was clearly very serious.

No phone signal here so I ran to the nearest house. The people there were very helpful and phoned the ambulance. As luck would have it there was a doctor staying there. By the time we got back to John it had been maybe 10 minutes since I had left him. He hadn't been alone then, a local on a quad bike had stopped. The doctor and I administered CPR for quite some time before the doctor said that sadly John had died.

The police arrived shortly afterwards, and the ambulance soon after that. They took over and the rest of the morning was a bit of a blur. I tried to get some sort of message through to the guys at Toddington station through my wife, Dick's wife and  Dick. (we need to exchange mobile numbers) but much got lost and I think I'd have been better not to try, so sorry for that.

Finally, although this is clearly a tragedy, especially for his wife and daughters there's is, I think, some comfort to be had from knowing that John died doing what he loved, on such lovely day.

David Greenaway


From Mike Wake:


Reflections of a long friendship.

Thank you Dave for your report, a courageous act about a cycling colleague who will be sorely missed by many.

I for one will certainly miss John as of more recent years I have probably ridden with him more than anyone else. Conversation would often turn to railways about which many of us are interested, his days as a signalman, & his tales of working at Gloucester's T.G.Hall Cycles or visiting Alf Thurston's for bike bits (if anyone can remember that far back!) We have also now lost a good wheel builder.

My wife Mon & I have known John for over 50 years going back to cycling/hostelling days with the very active Cheltenham YHA Group.  A large group of us would frequently go away for the weekend staying for a night or two at youth hostels in the good old days of the YHA, & didn't we get some miles in, but then we did not have the horrendous traffic of today on main roads.   Some of our other current riders > Vernon D, Bob Wilson, Ed Wragg will also recall those crazy days.

This hostelling link has always been maintained & in 1994 a big reunion was organised searching out YHA group members from 30years previously. It was always a joke in the group that YHA stood for 'Your Husband Assured' & this reunion triggered a huge centre spread in the Gloucestershire Echo with pictures old & new of John & myself with our wives along three other couples all having met through this Cheltenham YHA Group. Since then there have been other reunions eventually becoming an annual affair which carries on to this day. John was one of the main organisers, & although these were walking trips John always came with his bike to go off mile-eating.

John's musical talents became apparent playing a small squeeze-box & in recent years became part of a band entertaining at rest-homes, fetes, etc. He also became very adept at Folk Dance calling, sometimes going with him on Folk Dance workshop weekends & going to many dances where he was calling. He would travel far & wide to call at wedding folk dances etc, once even travelling all the way to Bedfordshire to call at my niece's 21st celebration barn dance  For a long time my wife has organised an annual barn dance in Churchdown & John has called for at least 25years, the last one only being a month before Christmas just gone.

He was also a volunteer driver transporting infirm people to hospital etc, but when he had to go some distance & wait around would always take his bike to ride pastures new. Only last year he flushed out a former member of the Cheltenham & County CC, Dave Whitley who sadly went blind at an early age. Having spoken to him recently, he remembered John's early car, a Ford Anglia with its cut back rear window back in the 1960's.

John will be greatly missed by all walks of life, & sincere sympathies go to his wife Sue & daughters. As Dave said, John left us while doing one of his passions in life.

R.I.P John.

Mike Wake



John Boucher
1945 - 2015

R. I. P.

Eulogy for John Boucher              29th January 2016


Sue, Louise, & Rebecca


L & G  > Good morning.


A few memories about John’s very active life.


John’s formative years started in Corse & Staunton, a small village 10 miles west of Chelt & Glos until eventually his family moved to Churchdown where he spent the rest of his schooldays.


On leaving school his first job was on the railways in the days of steam helping to man the railway signal box at Frampton Mansell in the Stroud valley. His enforced travel arrangements in those days was probably the start of his zest for cycling.  In the morning he would hitch a ride out in the guards van from Churchdown (with his bike) then ride home in the evening over Oakridge & Bisley – never the flat way!


Another of his early jobs was working at the Gloucester cycle shop TG Hall where he learnt  wheel building skills.  As any local cyclist will tell you he became a mine of information about cycle repairs & was always ready to help anyone in trouble. The cycling world has now lost a brilliant wheel builder.


Back in the 1960’s  he became an active member of the Glos City CC helping & organizing various events. He particularly enjoyed the cycle touring activities which ultimately led him to join a section of the Youth Hostels Association in Cheltenham, & this ultimately became the catylist for so many thing in John’s life.


He became an ardent follower of cycling to youth hostels nationwide & was particularly keen on riding ancient roads & tracks in the mountains of mid Wales, this often meant wading across streams - occasionally even falling in. All this was on standard touring bikes long before mountain bikes had even been thought of.


In the hostelling world the letters YHA didn’t just stand for ‘Youth Hostels Association’ but was jokingly known as ‘Your Husband Assured’.  Back in the 60’s & 70’s there were several marriages between members of which Sue & John were one, in fact there are several couples  from that era who are here today paying tribute to John.


His hostelling link has always continued & after a grand re-union in 1994 seeking out members from 30 years previously, reunions have become annual affairs to this day. John has always been one of main organisers & although these were predominently walking trips John always came with his bike to go off mile-eating.


Joining the youth hostel group  also saw the start of developing his musical talent. Square Dances were a common activity & he eventually took to calling regularly at folk dances.Over the years he became a real expert & was a popular caller at gigs, weddings, birthday parties up & down the country.My wife organises an annual barn dance in Churchdown & John has called each time for something like 25 years, the last one only being a month before Christmas just gone.


He also took to playing the concertina & became part of two bands playing folk music at barn dances or other light music often providing  entertainment in care homes & suchlike. So if John was not calling he would often be playing music for a dance  >> a truly talented fellow.                                         


Since retiring  he became a volunteer driver for a local organization Dial-a-Ride transporting infirm people to hospital, day centres, etc. & this would take him to various parts of the country,  perhaps Bristol or Somerset. He often had to wait around for a few hours before returning, but these hours were never wasted as inevitably he always had his bike with him enabling him to ride in different countryside


But always beside the folk & music activities, his main passion was cycling, even when travelling to work. He would never go the direct route of 4 or 5 miles > Oh No ! - he had to go over the hills via Guiting Power & Broadway returning the same way in the evening, perhaps doing 60 miles every day just going to work. He would even skip lunch & go for a bike ride in the lunch hour.


After retirement he achieved an ambition of cycling 900 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats. This would take place over a couple of weeks with a former Gloucester clubmate who would come over from  Canada.to ride.


John has done this epic ride twice in recent years & was already planning to do it again this year.


When he was not involved with folk dancing or playing his concertina in a band,   most of the time one almost needed a crowbar to get John away from his bike. 


John was on his bike to the very end & will be greatly missed by his wife Sue, his daughters Louise & Rebecca, all his friends of the folk dance world & of course his many cycling associates.



           Good bye John                   Rest in peace.

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No mourning dress please, at Colin's request.

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Friday, 01 January, 2016
It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of our dear friend John Boucher. Please click on the heading above to go to a page where we will add more information as we have it.
Website update
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Some photos from the 2015 walk have now been added to the website
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