A MEMORIAL plaque for one of the UK’s popular 1950’s musicians, who was killed in a crash near Abergavenny, has been unveiled at the site of his death.

Dickie Valentine and his pianist Sidney Boatman and drummer Dave Pearson were killed in a car crash on Glangrwyney Bridge near Abergavenny on May 6, 1971.

They were travelling to a gig at the Diamond Club in Caerphilly when the crash happened.

Ian Woolley organised a fundraising campaign for the plaque – which surpassed its intended target - and on Saturday, August 7, the plaque was unveiled by Mr Woolley and Mr Valentine’s son Richard.

South Wales Argus: Dickie Valentine's son Richard alongside the plaque remembering his father's death alongside his bandmates and friends. Picture: Quiz BritainDickie Valentine's son Richard alongside the plaque remembering his father's death alongside his bandmates and friends. Picture: Quiz Britain

Dickie Valentine's son Richard with the plaque marking his father's death alongside his two bandmates and friends on May 6, 1971. The plaque was crowdfunded for and unveiled on Saturday, August 7. Picture: Quiz Britain

Around 50 people attended the unveiling – including some of Mr Valentine’s relatives. Mr Valentine’s agent’s wife, Julie Layton, was in attendance as well as members of the Brecon and Crickhowell fire stations who were first on the scene of the crash.

A member of the Water Rats Charity, of which Mr Valentine was a member, also attended the unveiling.

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Mr Woolley said: “I want to thank everybody who attended and contributed to the plaque fundraising. Especially the trustees of the local village hall who freely gave their time and provided refreshments to the people who attended, some from all over the country.

“I also want to say a big thank you to the Powys council and Highways authority for allowing the plaque to be erected.”


Almost £200 of the fundraising total was donated to the Fire Benevolent Fund charity after the unveiling.

South Wales Argus:

Born Richard Maxwell on November 4, 1929, in London, he also went by the name Richard Bryce but was best known under the stage name Dickie Valentine. At the age of three, he appeared in Jack’s the Boy, making his acting debut alongside Jack Hulbert and Cicely Courtneige.

He was known to be able to impersonate a number of other singers and while a young boy, was encouraged to take singing lessons by Bill O’Connor – who paid for the lessons himself.

While in his late teens, he was performing at the Panama Club and was spotted by music publisher Sid Green who introduced him to Ted Heath – leader of hit British swing band Ted Heath Orchestra. He signed with the band on February 14, which gave him the surname Valentine.

After five years with the band, he went solo and had number one singles with Finger of Suspicion and Christmas Alphabet in 1955 (the latter, a cover in itself, being covered by Cliff Richard in 1991). Christmas Alphabet was the first single written about Christmas to reach number one. His live shows were well-known for his singing, dancing, jokes and celebrity impersonations.