December 11 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Warm tributes have continued to be paid to a popular Suffolk couple killed in a crash while on holiday in the USA.
Paddy and Julyan Heazell, from Snape, near Aldeburgh, died when their rental van left the road and struck a tree after they had been hiking in New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley.
The couple, who had been married for 51 years and had three grown-up children and one grandchild, were passionate about their local community and volunteered for a number of organisations.
Among them was the National Trust at Orford Ness – a subject on which Mr Heazell, 77, had extensive knowledge. His book Most Secret: The Hidden History of Orford Ness has been incredibly well received and recently updated and republished in a second edition.
Duncan Kent, senior ranger at Orford Ness, said: “Paddy had been a volunteer here since the site opened – so he was coming up to 20 years. He was one of our ‘trail rangers’ and would meet and greet people as they arrived, look after them and help them have an enjoyable time.
“Having an academic background he was particularly interested in the military history. There wasn’t a great deal known about the site and his research is a great addition to knowledge of the Ness.”
Mr Heazell, a former headmaster, also did talks and tours specifically focused on the site’s military history – tickets for which would sell out within weeks.
His research into the Ness was ongoing and Mr Kent said he felt certain that a third edition of Mr Heazell’s book would not have been far away.
“Paddy was always lively, smiling and joking, with a lovely sense of humour,” he continued. “He was more than happy to share his knowledge and did it in such an approachable way – he never made you feel that you knew very little in comparison. I’ve been here for six years but always deferred to Paddy in terms of knowledge.”
Mrs Heazell, 74, also volunteered at Orford Ness for a number of years.
“Their friendship and contribution to the family of volunteers and staff that we have here will be very sorely missed,” Mr Kent said. “They leave a very large hole.”
The couple, who also had strong links to Aldeburgh Music, RSPB Minsmere and Suffolk Wildlife Trust, were travelling with Mr Heazell’s 62-year-old brother Gareth, who is believed to have been driving the van, and his wife, Pamela, also 62. They were taken to hospital from injuries not thought to be life-threatening.