May 22 2013 Latest news:
Friday, February 8, 2013
Tributes have been paid to a dedicated newspaper delivery man who died while completing his round in Gorleston.
Ray Bartlett, 75, was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car by a passing taxi driver who heard the engine revving and became concerned.
He found the great grandfather unconscious with his foot still on the accelerator and called an ambulance, near to Crab Lane.
Paramedics tried to revive him but he was pronounced dead on the afternoon of Thursday, January 24.
His wife Valerie, 73, usually delivered copies of the Great Yarmouth Advertiser with him, but had been at home in Buttercup Drive, Bradwell that afternoon as she had injured her leg.
“He loved that little job,” she said. “He had already been in the paper shop that morning to get his Mars Bar as he was a diabetic and he said that would keep him topped up.
“They said he was as jolly as he usually was - it happened so quickly.”
Mr Bartlett started delivering papers six years ago around the Lowestoft Road area, taking time out from the job to nurse his ill mother before returning to a round in the Crab Lane area.
“He loved it as he would chatter to the people and it got him out and gave him a bit of exercise,” said Mrs Bartlett. “He would pick his pamphlets up on Tuesday and would mark each Thursday on the calendar to deliver them.
“He saved his earnings in a pot, and saved for fishing equipment - that was his hobby.”
The couple had been married for 54 years, and Mr Bartlett had just celebrated his birthday on December 30.
His family had paid for him to go on a sea fishing trip, and he had been looking forward to it.
“Everybody loved him and people would come out to chat to him and he would make everybody laugh,” added Mrs Bartlett. “The cards we’ve had just prove it.”
Mr Bartlett served in the RAF for more than two decades - spending time in Cyprus and RAF bases around the UK - before moving to Yarmouth in 1988.
He and his wife ran the Montague Hotel in Kent Square for more than a decade, and enjoyed being part of the tourist trade.
A lover of the great outdoors, he has worked on the Waterways, in parks around Norwich and in conservation around Burgh Castle.
He is survived by his wife Valerie, three daughters and a son, eight grandchildren, four great grandchildren and two step great grandchildren.
His funeral is today (Friday) at Gorleston Crematorium from 2.40pm.
Mrs Bartlett wished to thank the taxi driver and the emergency services for their help.
Police in Norwich have launched an investigation after a woman claimed in a tweet she had knocked a cyclist off their bike.
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