A MEMORIAL plaque to remember a popular 1950s UK singer who died in a car accident in Powys will be unveiled next month.

The plaque, to be placed at the spot where Dickie Valentine died 50 years ago, will be unveiled in the south Powys village of Glangrwyney on Saturday, August 7.

Valentine, born Richard Bryce, was a British pop singer who enjoyed great popularity during the 50s, recording several top 10 hit singles, including chart-toppers ‘Finger of Suspicion’ (1954) and the seasonal ‘Christmas Alphabet’ (1955).

Valentine, 41, was killed outright in a car crash on a single lane bridge at Glangrwyney on May 6, 1971, while travelling to his next gig at the Double Diamond Club in Caerphilly. His pianist Sidney Boatman and drummer Dave Pearson also died in the accident.

An inquest delivered a death by misadventure verdict, with the accident occurring on a dangerous bend and in heavy fog in the early hours of the morning.

County Times: Glangrywney bridge where Dickie Valentine died in 1971. Picture: David Addis

To mark the spot where the singer died, a memorial plaque was given the go-ahead to be placed at Glangrwyney bridge earlier this year. It will be unveiled by his son Richard with a ceremony to be attended by members of the singer’s family, as well as friends and colleagues. The plaque and ceremony is being arranged by Ian Woolley, a writer for Beat magazine and who has strong family connections with the village.

The village hall in Glangrwyney will be open to guests after the unveiling at 2pm. Also in attendance will be entertainer Jess Conrad who fondly remembers listening to Valentine’s sultry tones growing up as a teenager.

“Although Dickie Valentine pre-dated rock 'n' roll, with his matinee-idol looks and charisma I became a big fan of his and continued to be until his untimely death in 1971,” said Jess.

“That's one of the reasons why I feel I should make this pilgrimage to Glangrwyney because of the enjoyment Dickie Valentine had given me as a teenager.”

In his heyday, Valentine was voted the most popular singer in the UK in 1952 and even starred in several TV shows, one with Peter Sellers. He was top of the bill at the London Palladium and performed regularly at the Royal Command Performance. He was given his surname when he signed for Ted Heath’s band on Valentine’s Day and was with him for five years before embarking on a successful solo career.

He was an all-round entertainer and apart from his easy-going singing style, he could also dance, tell jokes and was an excellent impersonator of other singers of the day.