own life after loss
of his career
by David Skentelbery
A DEDICATED headteacher who had to take early retirement because of health problems following a stroke, took his own life, an inquest heard at Warrington.
David Hudson, 54, formerly head at Woolston Primary School, Warrington was found hanging in the bathroom by his daughter Sophie when she returned home from university, coroner Nicholas Rheinberg was told.
He told the hearing: “It was a shocking discovery for her to have to make.
“I am satisfied that Mr Hudson’s judgement was clouded.
“He had suffered a number of blows. The stroke left him with a problem of severe pain, he had also been diagnosed with angina and he had been forced to retire prematurely. All this had affected his general outlook on life.”
Mr Rheinberg recorded a verdict that Mr Hudson, of Appletree Grove, Fearnhead, Warrington took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.
The inquest heard Mr Hudson had suffered from depression for many years. In 1998 he suffered a stroke which left him with a problem of acute pain for the rest of his life. He had to retire on medical grounds in 2003.
His wife, Anne, also a headteacher, at Burtonwood Primary School, Warrington, said her husband had suffered from anxiety due to pressure of work. The stroke had damaged part of the brain which controls pain and this left him with a severe problem and having to take high doses of medication for pain relief.
He was doing voluntary work but found it difficult to come to terms with not being a headteacher any more.
Dr Janet Napier, Mr Hudson’s GP told the inquest in a statement: “He was a man passionate about his beliefs and always thinking of others rather than himself.
At the time of Mr Hudson’s death, in November last year, Warrington’s education director, Malcolm Roxburgh said: “David had a passion for teaching and learning and he will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.”
Doctor pledges continuing
support for tsunami victims
by Lesley Wilkinson
A WARRINGTON GP and his family who visited Sri Lanka to distribute aid following the tsunami appeal have pledged to continue helping the stricken community.
Sri Lankan-born Dr Sri Kumaraswamy, of Bold Street Surgery and his wife Leela were inundated with gifts of clothing, bedding and toys, when they launched an appeal.
Now they are raising money to fund two family houses – at a cost of about ?3,000 each – and buy land for a surgery, which a local builder has offered to build free. They are also offering to give on-going help to an orphanage.
Leela said: “The people of Warrington were very generous and they donated lots of clothes, bedding and toys, that we took over. It was a successful trip, but hard work.
“Lots of families benefited from the gifts. It was touching, because many of the children had never had toys before.”
She said they were upset to see how the communities had been devastated and sad to see the houses washed away. They now plan to help by building two houses.
Leela explained that following the disaster the cost of building materials has increased rapidly – so they will have to buy them from 60 miles away and transport them to keep costs down.
The family are planning an exhibition in Warrington with information and photographs from their trip. They are continuing to raise money for the building work, and anyone interested in helping should contact them at the surgery, 01925 244655.
One of the people who helped with their appeal, Geoff Settle, attends watercolour workshops run by Dermot Cavanagh from the BBC 2 series Awash with Colour. He told Dermot about the appeal and he donated pictures for the appeal and one as a gift for Leela.
Geoff also donated a watercolour, which was framed free by a Croft gallery, to be auctioned.
Tory candidate Fiona
by David Skentelbery
LAW firm Fiona Bruce and Co, of Warrington, has announced it is suspending all advertising until after the General Election – because principal solicitor Fiona Bruce is a candidate.
Mrs Bruce – already a Tory member of Warrington Borough Council – is standing as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate in Warrington South.
Practice manager and husband Richard Bruce said: “Our information from the Electoral Commission is that as a local business we are under no obligation to cancel any of our advertising during the election period – advertising which in some cases has been running for over a decade.
“However, mindful of the principal that justice must not only be done but that it should be seen to be done, we have taken the decision to cancel all such advertising between now and May 6.
“We hope that this will put at rest any concerns that Fiona Bruce could obtain an undue advantage as a result of such advertising and to ensure that this election campaign in Warrington remains wholly free and fair. This is both our wish as a business and Fiona Bruce’s personally as a candidate.”
Mrs Bruce was selected as Conservative candidate for Warrington South after winning a US-style “open primary” election at the Parr Hall last year – the first of its type ever held in this country.
She captured a borough council seat at Penketh for the Tories in the June municipal elections.
Soccer match in memory
of hero police officer
by staff reporter
A FOOTBALL match is to be played in memory of the Warrington police officer who gave his life to save others caught in a rip tide on an Australian beach in January.
PC Jon Speakman, who served at Warrington and Stockton Heath, was a keen footballer and passionate Everton supporter.
He was a qualified football coach, enabling him to coach juniors as part of the Hotshots Soccer School and he also captained the Chester Nomads 2nd team.
The memorial match will be between Chester Nomads and Cheshire Police and will take place on Sunday, April 17 at Boughton Hall, Chester, with a 3pm kick off.
An auction will be held after the match to raise money for the Jonathan Speakman Forget-Me-Not fund in aid of Leukaemia Research. Donations for the auction are welcome. Lots so far include a ?50 bet donated by William Hill, various premier league football club signed goodies including a signed Manchester United Football Shirt donated by Vodafone, a signed Everton Football, jewellery donated by Beaverbrooks of Warrington, gift boxes of spices donated by Seasoned Pioneers and a signed and framed photograph of Ronan Keating, donated by Kenney Moore.
Cheshire Police are also holding a raffle for signed Everton and Liverpool shirt, with the proceeds going towards the purchase of a jet ski for the surf rescue team in New South Wales, to help prevent further loss of life in the Spoon Bay area where PC Speakman lost his life
PC Speakman was in the fifth week of a visit to Australia when he went with a group of friends, which included five children, to Spoon Bay.
He and a male friend were in the sea, as were the five children, when a rip tide swept the adults and three of the children out to sea.
Rescue services were alerted, but eyewitnesses reported seeing PC Speakman rescuing one of the children by placing him on his body board and setting him towards the shore on a wave, before the rescue services arrived.
Jon’s father Don, a retired Cheshire police constable said “Jonny loved football and I can’t think of a more appropriate way for his friends and colleagues to remember him. Any money raised will provide a fitting memorial to him; continuing to help others. Everyone is welcome to join us at the match to remember Jonny and cheer the teams on.”
For further information or to make a donation contact Eric Dean, Jon’s father in law, on (07720) 292723. If he is unavailable leave a message and he will return the call.
Armed men in raid
on convenience store
by David Skentelbe
TWO men, one believed to have been armed with a sawn-off shotgun, got away with cash and other property from a convenience store at Warrington.
The raid was at the Spar Shop in Cinnamon Lane North, Cinnamon Brow, Warrington, at around 9.40pm.
Three members of staff were held up by the offenders, one of who was brandishing a knife and one who witnesses believed was carrying a sawn-off shotgun.
They stole cash from the shop and personal belonging from members of the staff before making off.
Police are appealing for witnesses of the raid, including anyone who may have seen a car or other vehicle outside the shop.
They are particularly interested to talk to a man customer who entered the shop just after the offenders had left.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Warrington CID on 01244 613833.
Slimmers will walk to
raise guide dog money
by John Hendon
SLIMMING club members are inviting people to join them in a sponsored walk that should help them lose weight and also raise money for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
Members of Weight Watchers in the Warrington area will stage the walk and a balloon race on April 23 – St George’s Day.
The Mayor, Coun Ted Lafferty, will start off the walk at 3pm by releasing 1,000 balloons for the sponsored balloon race from the Pickering Arms Pub in Thelwall.
More than 200 members from 22 Weight Watchers classes around the Warrington, Widnes and Runcorn areas have already raised more than ?2,000 by organising the walk and balloon race and this amount is expected to grow considerably once the walk has been completed.
A spokeswoman for the organisers said: “We are hoping to raise at least ?10,000 which will enable us to buy and train two guide dogs which will be going to local people.”
The walk is open to anyone wishing to join in and to celebrate St George’s Day, the walkers will be dressed in red and white or costumes of George or The Dragon. Anyone wanting a sponsorship form should contact Georgia Nunney on 01925 711846.
the exotic east
by staff reporter
GUESTS were transported to the exotic east when the stylish skills of belly dancing to traditional music were demonstrated to raise funds for charity.
Glazebury dancers joined women from surrounding areas to take part in a performance afternoon at Lowton Labour Club. The event raised ?30 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and a similar amount for Garston Animal Aid.
Teacher Helen Roberts invited 50 students from her various classes to take part in the show, and they performed their routines to the music of the traditional tabla, a type of drum. More than 40 people watched the performance.
Classes are held at Glazebury Methodist Church on Tuesday mornings.
Police warning over
by staff reporter
POLICE have issued a warning after a dangerous poison was stolen in a burglary at Lymm, near Warrington.
A quantity of strychnine in two clearly marked plastic containers was stolen from the commercial premises.
Police said the substance could prove fatal if taken.
Anyone with information about the burglary or the whereabouts of the strychnine is asked to call Warrington Police on 01925 652222.
[ 13.04.2005, 08:55: Message edited by: DS ]