Friday, 1 May 2015

Three For Friday

The funeral procession for window cleaner Keith Clarke, with his colleague Chris Knowles leads the procession dressed as Elvis.
Sheffield gets All Shook Up with Elvis tribute at superfan’s funeral today: It was a show-stopping final farewell fit for even The King himself. Well-known Sheffield window cleaner - and massive Elvis fan - Keith Clarke was remembered in style this afternoon in an unusual funeral procession through the streets of Intake where he spent years working. Family friend Chris Knowles donned a black jumpsuit and wig while carrying his ladder - watched by onlookers, many Keith’s customers - to lead the procession in a 45-minute tribute to the dad-of-two.

Grandad-of-three Keith, aged 74, lived in Arbourthorne for years and died of terminal cancer. Son Darren Clarke, of Intake, organised the Hollywood-style tribute as a suprise for the family. He said: “Dad had been to Graceland in America with my mum on numerous occasions, I think he’d been about five or six times, he was the biggest Elvis fan you could ever meet. “All the pallbearers are wearing Elvis Presley T-shirts, everything had to be Elvis, Elvis, Elvis for him. “Nobody knew about Chris dressing up as Elvis as it was a last minute surprise.

“Dad did several jobs over the years but for quite some time he was a window cleaner with me in the Intake area, that’s why we wanted to go through all the streets where he used to work. “Dad would have been over the moon to see it - it’s amazing.” The procession made its way from Ridgehill Avenue and through several streets to Newlands Road.

Chris, who has now taken Keith’s place working alongside Darren, then got in one of the limousines which carried on to City Road Cemetery. Money was also raised on the day for St Luke’s Hospice, where Keith died, through collections in window cleaning buckets and a wake is being held afterwoods at The Sherwood pub in Birley. Darren added: “Dad had terminal cancer and it has just been horrendous, he died in St Luke’s. “I think we will have raised quite a lot of money for them from the funeral but I’m also doing a massive walk later in the year from St Luke’s to Bakewell.”

Vanessa Isaac and window cleaner Gareth Windsor.
Torquay Rowcroft patient Gareth marries sweetheart Vanessa and 'now we are complete' - A cancer sufferer who is in end of life care at Rowcroft Hospice has married his fiancee in a fantastic ceremony that made the couple complete. The couple have moved their wedding forward especially because of father-of-two Gareth Windsor's illness. Gareth, 34, and his partner of six years, Vanessa Isaac, 25, both from Torquay, had planned to get married later this year at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay.

However, when Gareth, who suffers from cancer of the bile ducts, saw his condition worsen, they made the decision to get married sooner, and in just eight days planned their wedding. "The main thing was we got married and it was something we wanted to do. "It was very stressful to plan the wedding in eight days but we got it done and we got there in the end.

"The wedding was fantastic and it was a really good day. We went to the Imperial Hotel for the wedding and we had 80 family members and close friends who attended. Afterwards we went to Boots and Laces for a reception and around 500 people attended. "It was really good and we are happy to have got married, and it means a lot that everyone came along in such a short time. "We are thankful for everyone who was there and it was a really good day. We are now complete."

The staff at Rowcroft assisted with the wedding planning by liaising with the Registrar to make them aware of the couple's special circumstances and they exchanged vows on Saturday, and Vanessa said that she wanted to thank them for all the help that they gave them in planning the wedding. The couple, who have a one-year-old son Callum and a three-year-old daughter Frankie, first met six years ago at The Fortune of War pub in Plainmoor, where Vanessa was working as a barmaid.

They have been together ever since, and Gareth, who used to be a window cleaner, said: "I've received the best possible care at Rowcroft, without it I wouldn't have been well enough to get married." Dr George Walker, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Rowcroft, said: "Our philosophy at the hospice is to make every day the best possible day and we were honoured to play a small part in Gareth and Vanessa's wedding."

Daniel Sharp was left half-a-million pounds by Ronald Butcher.
Pensioner left £500,000 fortune to man who cleared his gutters for free: Daniel Sharp who cleaned an elderly man’s gutters for free has been left a fortune in the man’s will. Ronald Butcher, who was described as a ‘private and quiet man’, left Daniel Sharp £500,000 in his will, claiming a friendship was struck up between the two when Mr Sharp refused payment from the 75-year-old to clean his gutters.

However now the family of Mr Butcher, whose dead body lay undiscovered and decaying in his Enfield home for two months after his death, are disputing the will. They claim Mr Sharp is ‘lying’ about his friendship with the pensioner, who altered his will to include Mr Sharp a few months before his death in 2013, and have asked Judge Leslie Anderson QC to revoke the will in favour of an earlier one which leaves his substantial fortune to them.

Mr Sharp said he was ‘shocked’ by Mr Butcher’s will, however claims he had no influence on his elderly friend’s last minute change to his will. While the family accept that Mr Butcher was of sound mind when the will was made in 2013, they have pointed out the ‘odd’ nature of the alteration, arguing this should ‘excite suspicion’ over Mr Sharp’s involvement. Mr Sharp’s lawyer said of Mr Butcher: ‘He found a male friend in Mr Sharp, somebody he could chat to. They had a shared interest in DIY and he liked to hear about Mr Sharp’s son.

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