Memorial fund is launched in honour of accident victims
A FUND has been launched today by the East Anglian Daily Times for a permanent memorial for four Suffolk men who died in a horrific industrial accident.
The Four Friends Memorial Fund is in honour of brothers Thomas, 26, and Daniel Hazelton, 30, Peter Johnson, 42, and Adam Taylor, 28, who were killed while working at Claxton Engineering Services Limited in Great Yarmouth on Friday.
They were working underground when it is believed the steel structure they were building collapsed on top of them.
Tom, Daniel and Peter were all from the village of Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds, and Adam was from Rickinghall.
The men’s families have expressed their support for the fund, with former Ipswich Town footballer James Scowcroft, who knew the victims, already pledging cash from his own pocket.
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Terry Hunt, EADT editor, said: “This is a tragedy which has shocked and saddened everyone in Suffolk and beyond. It has obviously hit home hardest in Stanton, where three of the men came from.
“All four were obviously popular people who contributed to their community. They were also deeply loved by their families, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy at this extremely difficult time.
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“It seems appropriate that a permanent memorial for the four friends is created, within their community.
“Exactly what form it should take can be agreed by the families at an appropriate time.
“We are sure that many of our EADT readers will want to contribute to this very worthwhile cause, which we hope might be of some comfort to the families of the four men as they try to come to terms with this terrible tragedy.’’
Mr Scowcroft, who has lived in Stanton all his life, has already pledged to donate �200.
He said: “I’m sure the people of Stanton and the surrounding areas would back it and people from all over East Anglia would back it as well. I’m sure we can get a fitting tribute for the four lads.”
Nigel Wallace, landlord of the Cock Inn pub in Stanton and who also knew the men, said a kitty that had already been started in the pub for the families would be given to the Four Friends Memorial Fund.
He said: “A memorial or something would be fantastic and whatever we can do to help we will do.”
Speaking on behalf of all the families, Matthew Hazelton, brother to Tom and Daniel, said everyone was “much appreciative” of the fund.
He said: “All the families have been very receptive of this. It’s very much appreciated. We are grateful to you [the EADT] for what you are doing.”
Mr Hazelton said the community support for the families during this difficult time had been fantastic.
“The community couldn’t have done any more than what they have done.
“It’s at times like this you realise how lucky you are to live in a tight-knit community like this.
“It’s been fantastic. The people at the pub and the village and things like that have been absolutely fantastic.
“I cannot speak highly enough of what people have been doing for everyone.”
He added how Mr Scowcroft had done an awful lot for the families since the tragedy.
“He’s been my friend all my life, and my brothers’, and the other two lads’ as well.
“He has been fantastic.”
Daniel and Adam were keen footballers who played for Stanton FC and had connections with Walsham-le-Willows FC and Rickinghall FC and Mr Wallace said Daniel and Tom were big Ipswich Town fans.
Simon Clegg, Ipswich Town FC’s chief executive, said: “We, like many in Suffolk, share the grief of the families of those who were so tragically killed in Great Yarmouth last week.
“At an appropriate moment, we will be in contact the families to discuss how Ipswich Town can help them at this difficult time.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you would like to support the fund to create a lasting memorial to the four friends, please send cheques payable to Archant Regional Ltd (write Four Friends Memorial Fund on reverse of cheque), to Four Friends Memorial Fund, c/o the editor, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.