Graham Shaw: [Heath 1952–1959]

News of the unexpected death of Graham Shaw has reached us.

Graham was educated at All Saints Junior School, where he was friendly with Grayham Smith. He passed the 11+ examination and duly entered the portals of Heath Grammar School in 1952. Graham was allocated to School House, as was Grayham. He quickly settled in and won house prizes in his first year. He was a good sportsman, representing the school at rugby and cricket and was a sound swimmer. He joined the school scout group and, as he grew older, he became an active caver as a member of the Heath Rovers Caving Group, operating from a wooden hut at Ribblehead. The group made several new discoveries of wet and difficult caves and were considering forming their own pothole club. They were persuaded by Keith Asquith that a better option was to join an established club and he introduced them to the Bradford Pothole Club who were delighted to enrol several young, enthusiastic and committed cavers to their ranks.

All went well until April 1961 when Graham had a life threatening accident in Simpson’s Pot in Kingsdale, above Ingleton. He was badly injured when a huge boulder peeled away from a rock face and hit Graham, concussing him and badly crushing his ankle. After a long and difficult rescue, during which Graham’s bravery and fortitude were quite remarkable, he was taken to Lancaster Infirmary for surgery. His recovery was a long one involving plastic surgery and treatment for gangrene.

Graham eventually made a close to full recovery, though never caved or played rugby again. He did however build a successful career with the Central Electricity Generating Board, had a strong marriage with Hazel and raised two fine daughters. He played soccer, enjoyed long walks, took up sailing and learned to fly. He was still motor biking for pleasure up to his death.

Graham had suffered a heart attack unexpectedly and was admitted to hospital awaiting surgery. He suffered a second heart attack, went through open heart surgery but passed away two days after the operation.

The Heath Old Boys Association wish Graham’s family and friends every sympathy in their loss.

John Davey [Heath 1951–1959]