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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Shock as Carlisle's longest serving councillor dies

Carlisle's longest serving councillor Dave Weedall, a former teacher and city mayor, has died.

Weedall photo
Dave Weedall

Friends and family were left profoundly shocked by the news as Mr Weedall was still an active member of the community.

He was a city councillor for almost 50 years and was on first-name terms with many of the residents in his Harraby ward.

The 77-year-old died in his sleep at home in Carlton Gardens, Stanwix, on Friday night after what his wife Noleen described as a perfect day.

She said: “He went swimming in the morning and watched a football match and it was our grandson’s 21st birthday party at night.

“It was rare to get all the family together. He had a super night going around to everyone and chatting and went to bed a very happy man but didn’t wake up again.”

Unknown to many, Mr Weedall was suffering from the early onset of Parkinson’s disease and was diabetic.

His two sons, Mark and Anthony, and daughter Jane were at their mother’s side over the Easter weekend as well-wishers visited. Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised but it is expected that he will be honoured with a civic funeral.

Mr Weedall was part of the ruling labour group on the city council who oversaw the building of The Sands Centre, The Lanes and the pedestrianisation of the city centre. He was city mayor from 1979 to 1980.

Former Carlisle MP Eric Martlew was taught by Mr Weedall, who was head of PE at the former Harraby School. He was a mentor to a young Mr Martlew.

Mr Martlew said: “He was one of the people who welcomed me into the Labour Party as a young man. He was always encouraging.

“He was a man you could always rely on and a man of good honour and sound judgement.”

Mr Weedall had two years to go as a councillor before he had planned to resign.

Fellow ward councillor Cyril Weber said: “He did the best he could for the area because he believed in it.

“He first served on the old Border Rural Council representing Longtown. He was never frightened to speak up and you always knew what he was thinking.”

Mr Weedall was well known for his booming voice and he did not need to use a microphone in the council chamber.

He used to be a talent scout for Leeds United and sent a number of players down to the club from Carlisle, including Bobby Rutherford.

Councillor Carole Rutherford said: “Whenever we went around the ward together, he knew so many people personally.

“He had so often taught the person who came to the door or their children or grandchildren. It was a real shock to hear of his death.”

Have your say

Dave and my father taught together for many years at Harraby School, and the two of them also took the county football teams to Germany every year to play in an annual tournament. Dave taught me to swim at the Harraby pool alongside his own sons, and later in life I had the pleasure of playing rugby with both of his lads.

To Ant and Mark, I know your loss is immense, but I can’t help thinking that Dave and Jim will both be in a bar in heaven as we speak looking down and reminiscing over old times.

RIP Dave, a top bloke

Posted by Mike Simmonds on 12 April 2012 at 12:11

I remember Dave as a teacher and City Mayor!
I was a Sea Cadet when he presented Carlisle Sea Cadets with a Pennant for there effort in 1979!!! RIP Dave

Posted by Colin on 12 April 2012 at 01:20

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