Tributes to Norwich’s ‘Mr Golden Years’ who raised £120,000 for charity
PUBLISHED: 10:16 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:31 29 January 2019
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He was the man who brought back the good times for the grandfathers of Norfolk rock ‘n’ roll and their fans....and raised more than £120,000 to help charities and good causes across the region.
His name was Terry Wickham who has just lost his fight for life. Terry died at the weekend leaving his family and friends with such fond and wonderful memories of a man and musician we took to our hearts.
I had known Terry since we first launched the first Evening News Golden Years charity gigs back in 1996 with help and support from David Clayton, Andy Archer and the late Roy Waller from Radio Norfolk.
The concerts were a smash hit because of hardworking Norwich born and bred Terry. Mr Golden Years.
He was a difficult man to say no to and, believe me, it was tough persuading some of the original skiffle and rock ‘n’ roll bands to perform in public again after so many years.
Some hadn’t spoken to or seen each other in years as their lives took different paths but they would walk off the stage at the UEA or The Talk after performing to a cheering sell-out crowd, slap Terry on the back, shake his hand...and ask when the next concert was?
“That,” Terry would tell me. “Is what the Golden Years is all about – making people happy and helping others.”
And that is just what he did.
Terry, bravely fought battles against illness over the years, and never complained. He died over the weekend at the age of 78 leaving a heartbroken wife Jill, son James, daughter Lisa, six grandchildren and a great grandchild.
A devoted family man he and Jill had been married for well over 50 years and were known and loved by so many people across Norwich and Norfolk.
While I was in a fortunate position to give the Golden Years the publicity they deserved and the Radio Norfolk presenters were the compares at the shows, it was Terry who did the hard work tracking down the bands, sorting out all the jobs that needed to be done before a concert could take place.
Terry, a former member of The Zodiacs and other bands in the 1960s and 70s, was also a good guitarist with a fine singing voice.
Many different charities, large and small, were given Golden Years money.
The first one took place at The Talk in 1996. All the tickets sold in a couple of days. It was a supposed to be a one-off...it turned into an annual two-night rock festival at the UEA.
The Norwich man who taught The Beatles to rock in Germany, Tony Sheridan, came home for the gigs and our very own Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers re-formed and brought the house down.
Dozens of bands, from across Norfolk and parts of Suffolk, proved they were still a class act and went back on the road.
Kingsley Harris, of the East Anglian Film Archive, said: “Just think what extra life he gave to so many of our musicians.
“He must have reunited hundreds of lost-lost friends, got musicians who hadn’t performed for years playing again and their families and friends on the dance floor,” he added.
“The Golden Years was a big responsibility and a brave thing for him to take on but he got by with a little help from his friends and hundreds of people are better off because of his charity work,” said Kingsley.
Mike Lorenz, of The OffBeats and other groups, added: “His vision for the Golden Years not only gave many years of enjoyment to lovers of rock ‘n’ roll but also revived some great bands who relished the opportunity to reform and entertain once again. Not forgetting of course the large sum of money that was raised for local charities.”
<t> Details about the funeral service will be published later and if you would like to pay a tribute to Terry I would be pleased to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org