The Late Bro. Richard Neil Smith

"Big Nasty"

Richard Neil Smith was a larger than life member of the Orange Institution, there were never any half measures with him in anything that he did, with him it was all or nothing.

Neil joined the Loyal Orange Institution in Manchester in the mid 1970s (1975 if memory serves me correctly). Joining W.J. Lingley Memorial L.O.L. 676 and becoming Worthy Secretary of that lodge from 1976 until 1979.

Neil was a member of five different lodges at various times of his life as an Orange-man. As well as L.O.L. 676 he was a member of L.O.L. 15, L.O.L. 184, L.O.L. 903 and L.O.L. 906.

Neil left L.O.L. 676 to assist with the opening of Morecambe True Blues L.O.L. 903, quite a journey from Manchester every month for his lodge meetings, but he undertook this journey until such times as L.O.L. 903 was strong enough to survive without him.

He transferred back to a Manchester lodge, becoming an integral part of Britain’s Glory “William Hewitt Memorial” L.O.L. 15, serving his new lodge with the same dedication that he had applied to his two previous lodges.

In 1983 he was able to assist in achieving something that was very dear to him. With others he brought back to life L.O.L. 906. This lodge had formerly been known as Manchester True Blues, but this time around it was to be known as Harpurhey True Blues. Manchester True Blues had met at the Corwen Street Mission Hall, very near to where Neil had lived with his Mother and Father.

Unfortunately 1997 saw this lodge become defunct and along with others from

L.O.L. 906, he was welcomed as a member into L.O.L. 184, the lodge in which he remained as a member until his passing on to higher service.

Neil held many offices within the Manchester Province but he was also very active in the world of local politics within the Blackley Parliamentary Constituency in North Manchester.

Neil had been asked by the local Conservative Party in Blackley Village to allow his name to go forward as a paper candidate as they were finding difficulty in getting anyone to contest the local elections for the Charlestown Ward. He agreed to allow his name to go forward as the nominated candidate for the Manchester City Council local elections, but had decided that if his name was going to go forward he would not be a paper candidate. Instead he decided to actively campaign for election.

During all his political escapades Neil was ably assisted by his faithful friend John (Grizzly) Grimshaw, he it was who gave Neil his nickname of “Nasty”.

The nickname of Nasty came about during one of their brainstorming sessions during which Neil had come up with a plan to rescue as many Orange Jelly Babies as he possibly could whilst biting the heads of the green ones, to which John said “that’s Nasty Neil” and from then on that was his nickname.

Failure to get elected did not dampen Neil’s spirit or enthusiasm; after all it was a glorious failure having come within 108 votes of winning a council seat for the Conservative Party in North Manchester. No door was safe from a knock from Neil as he canvassed areas of Charlestown where previously the local Conservatives had been frightened to even put leaflets through the doors.

His war cry was vote early vote often.

Football was one of Neil’s lifelong passions, being a Brummie and a supporter of Aston Villa. This did not stop Neil from being one of the founding members of the Manchester Loyal Rangers Supporters Club of which he was elected Chairman.

Geography was not one of his strong points as evidenced by his travelling overnight by train from Manchester for an away match at Dumbarton, arriving in Dumbarton at 8a.m. and finding not a lot to do. When he returned to Manchester, he discovered that he could have had a comfortable night’s sleep in his own bed and caught the same train that he normally caught to get to games at Ibrox, this train departing from Manchester at the exact time as he was arriving in Dumbarton.

Throughout all of this, Neil remained a committed Christian and attended at many of the local Churches.

It was whilst attending at Christ Church C of E in Harpurhey, Manchester that Neil advocated the banning of all commerce on the Sabbath and this belief he prosecuted with the vigour for which he was renowned, his nickname of Nasty even took hold at Christ Church.

One Sunday the Vicar commented on the absence of Nasty from the morning service only to be told that Neil could not make it that morning as he had now gotten a job that required him to work on ……..  As I have said, no half measures.

Neil was a sincere, dedicated, loyal and faithful member of both the Reformed Faith and the Loyal Orange Institution, there were those who did not like to hear what he sometimes had to say, but he said it all the same and to their faces too.

He was the epitome of what a true Orange-man should be and will be sadly missed by all those who knew him.

Reg Chadwick

Worthy Master L.O.L. 184

                      Offices held by W. Bro. Richard Neil Smith

Manchester Provincial Grand Lodge

Provincial Grand Treasurer                              1985-86

Provincial Grand Secretary                               1982-84

District No. 13

District Chaplain                                                1982-83

District No. 34

District Master                                                   1987-88

District Treasurer     1995-97

District Secretary                                              1977-79

W.J. Lingley Memorial L.O.L. 676

Worthy Secretary                                              1976-79

Britain’s Glory “William Hewitt Memorial” L.O.L. 15

Deputy Master                                                   1981-82

Worthy Treasurer                                             1982-83

Son’s and Daughter’s of Ulster J.L.O.L. 1

Junior Superintendent                                      1978-82

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