Son pays tribute to mother who was killed in St Ives accident

17:21 25 July 2014

Pauline Harrisson.

Pauline Harrisson.


A Somersham woman killed in an accident in St Ives town centre last week would have “done anything for anyone”.

Pauline Harrisson, who was known as Val, died last Monday (July 14) in a crash in Market Road when a Vauxhall Corsa pushed her into a bus at about 11.50am.

The 82-year-old, of Queens Road, moved to Somersham with her husband Neville in 1985 from Goffs Oak, Hertfordshire.

Roger Harrisson, their son, said they were known for their car boot sales, raising an estimated £15,000 for charities, including Papworth Hospital.

He told The Hunts Post: “My dad was in insurance and my mum was a personal assistant at an accountants. They retired early and did car boot sales. They were very well known in the area, and companies would give my parents new things to sell.

“My mum also worked in care homes. When she was asked about being paid, she used to say looking after people was payment enough. It got to a point when she was looking after people who were younger than she was.”

The 59-year-old, of Woodgate End, Dunmow, Essex, added: “It was a shock to have two policemen knocking on my door to tell me that my mum had died. It was almost two years to the day that my dad died. We were very close. We’re going to miss her. Why it happened, I don’t know.

“Accidents happen, I just feel sorry for the driver’s wife.

“I’m really glad that I went over on the Sunday and had a good chat with her. She loved baking cakes, she’d get up at 5am to bake if she needed to, so I went home with two dozen cup cakes.

“I’ve been to the site of the crash and I was surprised by the number of flowers and cards from people saying how much my mum helped them out. It’s quite a nice road she lived on and her neighbours have all said how she looked after them.

“When my wife was ill, she offered to do the ironing, which we could have done, but she had to help. She liked to help anyone.”

Mr Harrisson said his mum also enjoyed going on holidays, bus trips and reading.

The 90-year-old driver of the Corsa, William Brooke, also died. Mr Brooke of St Ives Road, Somersham, died in Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, last Tuesday.

Eyewitnesses told The Hunts Post that the driver had tried to put his brakes on to stop, but accidentally hit the accelerator. A St Ives woman and a passenger from Somersham were also injured in the crash.

INFORMATION: An inquest into Mrs Harrisson’s death, opened at Lawrence Court, Huntingdon, on Friday, provisionally said the cause was multiple injuries.The hearing was adjourned until November 20.

Mrs Harrisson’s funeral takes place at Cambridge City Crematorium on Monday at 2.30pm.


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