Posted: 05.05.20 at 18:22 by Nick Hudson
A HEARTBROKEN Atherstone family left devastated when Covid took one of the town’s “loving, kind and gentle natured” characters has thanked the community for helping them through the grief of losing the retired 3M machine operator.
Roy Allitt’s widow Claire has spoken of a “heartfelt gratitude” for all the cards, phone calls, kind wishes, notes through the letterbox and messages of sympathy on social media after her husband succumbed to the virus last month.
She said it was “truly heartening” to know the high regard in which the 64-year-old – well known in the town as a weekend wedding photographer – was held.
Mr Allitt lost a 10-day battle to the deadly infection which first developed as a cough. He died in the George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton.
Mrs Allitt said to the town: “I can’t even begin to put into words how much you have all helped our family in such terrible times.
“I hope if any of you ever need anything I will be able to do help the way you have helped us.”
Due to lockdown measures restricting numbers at all funeral services, the people of Atherstone were only able pay their roadside respects to Mr Allitt.
Alan Talbott postd: "One of the worst parts of this pandemic is not being able to celebrates birth, marriages or celebrations of life (deaths) the way you want.
"Lots of people have posted comment about Roy which show how well he was thought of and liked by the people of Atherstone and that is one thing this virus can’t take away."
The family – eldest son Peter, daughter Emma and five grandchildren Charlie, 11, Evie-Mae, 10, Poppy, nine, and four-year-olds Martha and Isabella – posted their comments on Atherstone People’s Forum, alongside a picture toasting the memory of the late Mr Allitt.
Tragically for Peter, his father’s untimely death meant him missing celebrating his 40th birthday – even though the planned party at the Red Lion Hotel had been put on hold because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Hours after his father’s passing, Peter Allitt told Nub News last month: “This thing that killed my father does not discriminate – it can happen to anyone.”
At the time, the heartbroken son made an impassioned plea to everyone in Atherstone and beyond to heed all the ‘stay home’ advice from the Government “not just for Easter but until further notice”.
And now Friday sees a special bank holiday in a national thanksgiving for the 75th anniversary VE Day, Atherstone Central England Co-op store manager John Mangan has urged families not to be “tempted” into visiting friends and family to mark the occasion, or entertain holding an outdoor street party.
According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, eight people in Atherstone have died of coronavirus up to April 17 with six more in the villages of Baddesley, Baxterley, Bentley and Grendon.
The UK now has the worst number of fatalities in Europe for coronavirus.
Recorded deaths rose by 693 over the last 24 hours to 29,427 – 112 more than Italy whose toll went up by 236 to 29,315.
Confirmed cases in the UK stand at 194,990 – up 4,406 – with Warwickshire’s total on 1,241, neighbouring Coventry on 709, Leicestershire 984 and Staffordshire 1,843.
The Midlands total is 21,226 cases with Birmingham second in the upper tier local authority table on 2,954.
Yesterday saw the townsfolk came out in their hundreds to say a fond farewell to another Covid victim – Brian Cunner Cadman – who died last month in George Eliot hospital.
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