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Tributes to Howard Roberts who died at Gorran Haven beach

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: July 19, 2013

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A COMMUNITY stalwart who died after suffering a suspected heart attack on a beach has been described as a "wonderful man" by close friends.

Howard Roberts, who lived at Trethevey Farm in Lanlivery, died on Wednesday last week at a Gorran Haven beach.

He was strolling along Vault Beach, enjoying the Cornish sunshine, when he collapsed.

Despite efforts by fellow beachgoers and the emergency services – including Mevagissey and St Austell coastguard rescue teams, Fowey RNLI lifeboat and a rescue helicopter – he died at the scene.

A South West Ambulance Service Trust spokeswoman said it is believed he died from a heart attack and police are now dealing with the incident.

Originally from Wales, Mr Roberts moved to Cornwall about 40 years ago and has played an active role in the community since.

As well as acting as head of Lanlivery Parish Council, Mr Roberts had been a church warden, a county councillor, taught rural studies at Fowey Community College, was involved in St Austell Rugby Club, Lostwithiel Gentleman's Luncheon Club, performance group the Lanlivery Loonies, and was a staunch supporter of the church.

He celebrated his 75th birthday in June, with a party at his family home.

"The small rural community of Lanlivery is in deep mourning this week," said parish council clerk Sally Vincent.

"Howard was at the centre of everything.

"He was a longstanding chairman who organised an endless list of fundraising events and always entertained everybody with his humour and wit."

Vice-chairman Morley Richards, who will step into the role of chairman temporarily, added: "What can I say about Howard? He was a man and a half.

"He came up with some brilliant ideas over the years to raise money for the church."

As a fan of The Archers, Mr Roberts celebrated an anniversary of the radio show by transforming Lanlivery into Ambridge, where it was set, for the day, attracting camera crews from as far away as Canada.

"He was a really lovely guy and we will miss him terribly," said Mr Richards. "I can't believe he's gone to be honest."

Mr Roberts leaves behind wife Verna and children Dana, Ben and Kay.

His family thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

Ms Vincent added: "Howard was a wonderful man and we have all been so lucky to have had him live amongst us.

"Now he is gone, Lanlivery will never be quite the same again."

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  • GaryKing  |  July 19 2013, 10:42PM

    It was with sadness that we heard that W. Howard Roberts passed away just a few days after his 75th birthday. Howard was a Trustee of Cornwall ScrapStore almost from the very start of the charity in 1999. He later became Chair, a position he held until his retirement in 2009, he also returned for a short period in 2011. Howard was a fantastic supporter of Cornwall ScrapStore, he gave his time freely and with enthusiasm, on a personal level he acted as my mentor, supporting me and encouraging me whenever he could. Rest in Peace Howard. Gary King Project Coordinator