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Investigation into Bugle scaffolder's death in St Mawes

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: August 07, 2013

  • LIFELONG AMBITION: Roger Stoddern on holiday in Egypt.

  • ROGER STODDERN: Lounging on a boat in Egypt.

  • ROGER STODDERN: Sailing the seas in Egypt.

  • ROGER STODDERN: Making friends with a baby crocodile on holiday in Egypt.

  • ROGER STODDERN: Riding a camel on holiday in Egypt.

  • ROGER STODDERN: Riding a camel on holiday in Egypt.

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FAMILY and friends have paid tribute to a popular scaffolder as an investigation is launched into his death.

Roger Stoddern – known as Podge – from Roche Road, Bugle, was working on the scaffolding at Upper Bohella House, St Mawes, when he fell, between 10.15am and 11am on Monday, June 24.

The 47-year-old died from his injuries at Derriford Hospital Plymouth, on Thursday, July 11. His sister Jackie Stoddern, from Foxhole, described him as "a really great brother".

"He lived in a caravan at one point and he gave up his home so I could live there because I was pregnant," she said.

"He was always there if you needed anything, no matter what it was."

"He was a unique person, a proper Cornishman," said close friend Michelle Dudley, 48, from Pont's Mill, near Par. "When he died I thought 'the world has lost a true gentleman', and they are a rare breed these days.

"There was nothing hidden about him either and nothing false. He spoke his mind and he was reliable and dependable."

Friend Mandy Reid, from Respryn, near Bodmin, said: "He was a lovely chap. He took a while to get to know you, then he was the salt of the earth. He'd help you with anything."

She added that Mr Stoddern had never set foot out of Cornwall until about two years ago. Ms Reid and Ms Dudley own a boat together in Egypt and Roger agreed to go for a holiday there with them.

"It was a massive thing for him," said Ms Reid. But he loved it. It was a lifelong ambition and I think he came because he trusted us."

He enjoyed the holiday so much, he went twice.

Mr Stoddern had lived in an annexe apartment at the rear of his landlord Simon Phillips' house for 11 years and was described as a "perfect lodger".

He was employed by Colin Marshall Scaffolding of St Austell at the time of his death.

Mr Marshall said: "My son was taking galvanised sheets off a temporary roof we had built and passing them down to Roger, who was standing on a flat roof with handrails around him.

"He was stacking them on the flat roof. He must have gone over the handrail somehow.

"He was a good, hardworking bloke and I was pleased to have him working with us.

"We're very saddened by what's happened."

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) spokesman confirmed that it is investigating the incident jointly with Devon and Cornwall Police, adding: "It is still early days yet. We need to find out the circumstances behind the incident."

Police are appealing for information and photographs of the building taken on or around the date of the incident.

If you have any information to help police please call them on 101, quoting GE/13/153.

A date has not yet been set for Mr Stoddern's funeral service.

He leaves behind his brothers Barry and Peter, and sisters Jackie, Moreen and Jane.

Ms Dudley added: "I keep expecting him to pull up on his motorbike outside. We miss him so much."

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2 comments

  • nainai  |  August 30 2013, 10:22PM

    very sad i'll never see you agen podge but growing up next door to you was ace mate. Ian Margetts. in cumbria uk

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  • juxtaposed  |  August 11 2013, 2:40PM

    Podge: Salt of the Earth; Heart of a Lion. You are sorely missed. Juli, Michael, Vanessa and Bill

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