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Halesworth/Southwold: Further tributes paid to crash victim John Veitch

PUBLISHED: 11:13 28 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:13 28 February 2014

John Veitch at the Friends of East Suffolk Performing Arts fete last year. Mr Veitch died in a car crash in Halesworth on February 20.

John Veitch at the Friends of East Suffolk Performing Arts fete last year. Mr Veitch died in a car crash in Halesworth on February 20.

Archant

Further tributes have been paid to a man who died in a car crash in Halesworth last week.

John Veitch died when the car he was driving crashed into a shop on the junction of Bridge Street and The Thoroughfare.

His blue Volvo struck the side of women’s clothing store Valerie’s – the former site of The Hawk Inn – at around 3.10pm on February 20.

Mr Veitch was pronounced dead at the scene, despite the efforts of emergency crews. He was the only occupant of the vehicle.

Barry Tolfree, Trustee of the Friends of East Suffolk Performing Arts (FESPA), said: “I was very shocked and saddened when I heard of John’s accident.

“He was a charming, popular man, with a presence that could not be ignored. He was hugely energetic for his age. He always claimed to be shy, but with his trademark megaphone voice and leading-from-the-front manner, he could easily be mistaken for an extrovert.

“He was active in a lot of community initiatives including, of course, the Southwold & Reydon Society. He had also been a tireless volunteer in FESPA for many years and was always ready to help with whatever was thrown at him.

“He was a passionate supporter of Southwold and campaigned on any issue which threatened the character of the town.”

Chris and Joan Ure, who were “among the many friends and acquaintances” of Mr Veitch, said: “We got to know John from church and we enjoyed spending time with him. He had occasional wine and nibbles evenings where he invited small groups of friends to meet for an hour or so. We attended his Desert Island Discs fund-raiser (in aid of St Barnabus home in Southwold) last year. We were amazed at the range of his musical tastes, from classical and brass band music to John Lennon’s Imagine – and he knew all the words.

“The enduring memory we will have of John is of his slightly playful smile and a twinkle in his eye ensuring that you never quite knew what he would say next!”

A memorial service for Mr Veitch is being held at St Edmunds Church on Thursday March 6 at 2pm.

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