As a former Dispatch chief reporter, I would like to pay a personal tribute to two well-known Hucknallites who have died during the past three weeks, namely Yvonne Turner and Keith Williams.
I first met both of them during the course of my job and they became firm friends of mine.
Yvonne was formerly a key contact when I wanted news about the Hucknall squadron of the Air Training Corps. More recently, we were both members of an art class run by Robin Bellamy at Hucknall’s Watnall Road Community Centre.
One of my memories of Yvonne is of a Good Samaritan act about ten years ago. Yvonne, a qualified first-aider, was with her pal, Sue Evans, a nurse at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.
They had just returned home from a holiday in Devon and were in Yvonne’s home. I remember Yvonne telling me: “I had just put the kettle on when we heard a tremendous crash.
“I grabbed my first-aid kit and we ran out to see what had happened.
“A motorcyclist was lying unconscious on a grass verge and his wrecked bike was in the middle of the road.
“The man’s injuries were obviously very severe and we did what we could to help him until an ambulance arrived.”
Sadly, despite their best efforts, the motorcyclist -- 25-year-old Patrick Donachie, from Bulwell -- did not survive. But the tragic incident exemplified Yvonne’s caring nature.
I first got to know Keith Williams when I reviewed productions by Hucknall Dramatic Society, now the Lovelace Theatre Group.
Keith was a long-standing member and can be said to have had a very illuminating effect because he took charge of the lighting.
When I first walked into the old Church Hall, now the John Godber Centre, to see a play, Keith went out of his way to make me feel welcome and I always enjoyed a chat with him thereafter.
The same goes for Keith wife’s, Kath. At the group’s annual pantomime, ‘auntie’ Kath helps children on to the stage to join in a song and gives them ‘goodies’ when they come off. One of these youngsters was my niece, Jennifer Clarke, then aged four.
Yvonne and Keith will both be greatly missed and I would like to express my sincere condolences to their families.