Richard Coughlan of Canterbury-based band Caravan was a pioneer of the Sixties music scene in the city
Richard Coughlan, the founder member and drummer of the Canterbury-based band Caravan, has died aged 66.
He performed with the group for more than 43 years but his ability to continue drumming was ended by progressive rheumatoid arthritis.
In recent weeks he was being treated for pneumonia in the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Herne Bay. He leaves a widow, Sue and daughter Beth.
Close friend and Caravan guitarist Pye Hastings said: "Richard was a fine musician and will forever be remembered, not least by us, but by the fans all around the world.
"What he gave to Caravan throughout the years was unique and completely immeasurable and the body of work that he leaves behind will be his legacy. He lives on in all our memories."
Richard Coughlan (right) with other Caravan band members in 1968
After he retired from the band, he became a successful pub landlord, running the Sun Inn in West Street Faversham, with Sue, where they won an outstanding achievement award from Shepherd Neame.
They then took over the Cricketers in St Peter's Street, Canterbury in 2008. The couple later moved to Broadstairs.
But he picked up his sticks again for the band's reunion gig in London in December 2010 for which he received a standing ovation.
Richard, who died on Sunday, December 1, played on all of the band’s albums and was one of the early leading lights in the history of the Canterbury bands, having sessioned with The Wilde Flowers and predecessors.
A message posted on Caravan website this morning says: "His unique style of playing and wonderful character will be sorely missed.
"We pass our sincere sympathies to Richard’s wife Sue, his daughter Beth, and all his family.
"We will publish a fuller obituary in due course and will have a book of condolences on the website so that his friends and fans can leave a message."
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