RACHEL MARY JAMES: This very popular and hard working young nurse died in Wakefield Hospice on New Year’s Eve with her brothers and friends at her bedside. Rachel had studied and qualified at Pinderfields Hospital, before working at hospitals in York and Wiltshire and travelled around Australia before settling into a permanent postion at NHS Direct back in Wakefield, a job she loved. On a personal note I owe my life to Rachel for two years ago after having an operation on my neck but returning home, blood started pumping from the wound. Like a guardian angel, the front door opened and in walked Rachel. Without hesitation, pressing a towel to my neck, she whisked me into her car and straight back to the surgery. When the doctor said he had cut into a vein, Rachel told him: “No Doctor, it is an arterial bleed”. Another operation sealed the leak, with Rachel standing by, before taking me home and she stayed the night to keep an eye on me.
SANDAL RUGBY: Tomorrow the 1st XV travel to Burnage, who play at Stockport in Cheshire. Supporters are invited to travel on the team coach, for a small donation. I would like to wish the team success as the season resumes with Sandal in a midtable position in a National League.
NEW YEAR’S EVE: A great many parties took place in Sandal, but the well established ‘Andy and Maria’ one on Barnsley Road was shrouded in sadness caused by the death early in the evening of Rachel James, a much-loved regular attender since 2000. Stuart recalled the selfless way in which she had nursed his mother, Maud, (widow of Len, Wakefield Trinity’s famous hooker), regularly visiting in the evenings. “A lovely, kind young lady,” said Stuart. There was no dancing, fireworks or Auld Lang Syne at this party, instead glasses were raised and tributes paid to young Rachel.
SS P&P SUZY FUND: Brian tells me the books of the charity have been audited (without a fee of course) and show that £55,000 has been sent out in the year to places where the need is greatest. Brian insists the thanks are due to the wonderfully generous people who contribute every week, year after year.