Archive for the ‘Wyton’ Category

David Richard Todd in Memoriam

David with Jarvis the Cocker Spaniel

Last Monday the 19th of October a great many of the occupants of Wyton village in Cambridgeshire lined the streets to say goodbye to a truly remarkable man. The workforce of the company where he had worked since leaving school, stood at the roadside and clapped as the hearse passed by, carrying David Richard Todd on  his final journey.

David  was a loving husband, a wonderful dad, a caring son, brother, brother in law uncle and friend. He was also an international athlete, Beaver pack leader and thoroughly decent human being.

David was born in 1961 grew up in Woodhurst was educated locally and started work aged sixteen as an apprentice at the Beamglow Company in St Ives. Eventually he was to become the company’s Technical Manager.

When he was seventeen he suffered life changing injuries when his motorcycle was in collision with a double decker bus. For a few weeks he clung to life. As he was overcoming this battle the realisation that his spine was so badly damaged that he would no longer walk again dawned.

He was moved from  Addenbrooke’s  to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the wards at that time were the wooden huts that remained after the second world war.  The conditions were cramped, there was barely space between the beds for even a chair. It was while he was there that the amazing character of the man shone through. He would say how lucky he was, mentioning fellow patients that had suffered even more horrific injuries than his own and his concern for their well being.

After many months he left Stoke Mandeville returning home to live with his parents and back to work at Beamglow. He learned to drive a car and was soon back on the road, the song by Manfred Mann’s Earth band, Davy’s  On The Road Again seemed to be his theme song.

He married Angela in 1983. they stayed together until David’s death and were a devoted couple. Their marriage was a true partnership.

Encouraged by his time in Stoke Mandeville David became a proficient sportsman, playing basketball before turning his talents to wheelchair racing. He became successful at this, not only racing in Great Britain but also representing his country internationally, in the process travelling widely throughout the world.

When interviewed for his first management position, David was asked how he could manage people from a wheelchair? His reply if he couldn’t manage people it wouldn’t be possible to get on and off planes in foreign countries, ensured the job was his.

His son Stephen was in the local Beaver group, when it seemed likely to close because the leader was stepping down David stepped forward and took on the role. He continued for fifteen years, the children loved him and it gave them a practical demonstration on how to overcome disability.

David travelled widely his last major holiday was a road trip in the USA with his son Stephen. Driving along Route 66.

Three years ago David was diagnosed with cancer, after surgery things seemed to be improving unfortunately the cancer returned, spread and became terminal. He wanted to die at home, Angela insisted she be allowed to care for him in the closing days of his life, she told the doctors, for her caring for him in sickness and in health meant exactly that.

In the early hours of the first of October David lost his last battle to an infection he no longer had the strength to fight. He died at home.

I have lost a real hero, those that knew David were inspired by him, learned from him and gained immeasurably from contact with him.

David during his wheel chair racing career

The world is a poorer, emptier place without him.

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