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Debbie Letchford and Gavin Booth

You know, its a funny old internet. Things tend to link to strange things just when you least expect them to.

This last update I offered up a test thingy for a podcast – more a Musing on wheels, to be honest. This in turn led to young Conrad listening to it and making a comment about it on his blog thingy (and alerting the Crawley Observer to the fact – that must have non-plussed Hobbit, lol). I reply to his post and he sends me an e mail which lets me know whats been going on at home – Jersey.

And it isn’t good news.

Debbie Letchford I knew from my schooldays. Her family were friends of my mate, Simon Dodkin’s family and they had moved over to the island from the mainland. We naturally, made her, and hopefully them all, welcome. We were all part of the same ‘mob’, lol. Myself, Debs, Simon, Sean Marshman (yes, thats right…please insert your Full Circle joke now), Bridget, James Dickenson…Debs and Simon even went out together for a while. Heady days indeed. Early to mid-eighties. Debs was always very kind, very happy – a gentle soul with a spark that never dimmed, no matter what. She always had that ‘motherly’ thing for me – karen could probably explain it better, lol – the always wanting to make sure I’m ok. After I’d split up with my first proper girlfriend, it was Debs who was there to pick up the pieces. After I moved to England we kept in touch, admitadly sporadically. I hadn’t heard from her for a couple of years.

She was killed over a year ago when a police car on an emergancy call ploughed into her car. Her husband of just two months was seriously injured. The police driver was cleared of any wrong doing (I checked with my step-father on this one….pays to have contacts in Jersey, and Ill keep quiet about my thoughts on his ‘report’ on the incident – suffice to say, it took a lot for me to go to him and ask).

Gavin Booth I sort of knew at school. I can’t remember how we actually got to know each other properly – it might have been we both looked for Doctor Who books at the same shop and the shopkeeper (who didn’t appear as if by magic, but was still a good sort) possibly put us in touch? I dunno. Anyway, Gavin was not a well person. He had things wrong with him that even the doctor’s couldn’t explain. I’m pretty sure they must have named at least one thing after him, LOL. However, he weathered it and weathered it well. Oh, he could be a bit short tempered at times and certainly had little time for fools. But both he and his mother, Andree, were very, very kind to me, going so far as to give me a moped! Gavin ended up living twice as long as was expected so every extra day was a blessing. I wish he’d have been able to see the new series of Doctor Who. He had a great imagination and loved the show very much (even tracking me down, when we had lost contact, through Virgin Books and young Cornell.). It was thanks to Gavin that I ended up treading the boards – his mother needed an ‘amiable idiot’ to play Bob Acres in Sherriden’s ‘The Rivals’ and Gavin, quick as you like said ‘oh, ask Tony.’! It was he who also introduced me to the Goon Show.
Both Debbie and Gavin were wonderful friends whom I shall never forget. Yes, I do have to get over the shock of reading Conrad’s email – and sorry, Conrad mate…that can’t have been fun realising you were the one to break the news to me – but I shall always remember both of them at their very best…Debs happy and caring, always looking out for me emotionally and Gavin, giving me a ‘look’ as if to say ‘quit your jibber jabber – idiot child!’ LOL.

2 Responses to "Debbie Letchford and Gavin Booth"

  1. Lord Summerisle says:

    “his mother needed an ‘amiable idiot’ to play Bob Acres in Sherriden’s ‘The Rivals’ and Gavin, quick as you like said ‘oh, ask Tony.’”

    I like him already!

    That sort of bad news is a bitch isn’t it, and it’s a vicious reminder of just how quickly time moves on while you’re elsewhere doing other things. At this stage I’d usually say “treat every day as it it were your last” but if that were true I’d be found dead of a drug overdose in a whore’s boudoir seven days a week.

    Actually that’s a lie. Nothing so cool for me, I’d probably found conked out in front of the DVD recorder playing Pertwee’s Doctor Who on an endless loop or slumped over my chess computer trying and failing to beat it just the one time before I die. Surrounded by whores and drugs of course.

    I’m rambling, forgive me. Sorry to hear the bad news, mate.

  2. That is pretty rough, especially as they are only about your age, about half the average death age? Just goes to show how meaningless these average age at death statistics are.

    Let me just seal my fate now by saying I don’t ever live any day like it’s my last – I put far too much money into my pension scheme and mortgage for that! In fact I haven’t even written a last will and testament yet – it’s not something I generally want to think about. I don’t plan on dying, not if I can help it! Now that really has sealed my fate..! I think the shock of news like this is partially that it reminds us of death, especially if it’s our contemporaries.

    Back to your actual news, though. It is odd how this information came to you. Out of the Jersey loop for a bit and then a podcast prompts a reconnection with an old friend and, well, the rest is (very recent) history. I suppose if it weren’t for Staggering Stories you might not have found out until you returned to Jersey for a visit. That could have been a very awkward time indeed. Events are odd like that. Life is a series of coincidences, unfortunately some will always lead to bad events and news like this.

    Oh, and sorry, I’ve already knocked your blog item off the top of the page. I should probably have waited a few days, this one is rather more important than mine. People will still see it on the front page and if they scroll down, though.

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