Family heartbreak will keep me going

Francie and Margaret McKean died from cancer within weeks of each other
Francie and Margaret McKean died from cancer within weeks of each other

Sister and brother-in-law lost to cancer within weeks

When former solder John Bradley steps out on his latest long distance hike next month, his thoughts will be very much with his late sister Margaret McKean and her husband, Francie.

Charity walker John Bradley with, l-r, post office owner Andy Hakeem, fundraiser Ray Mitchell and MSP Richard Lyle

Charity walker John Bradley with, l-r, post office owner Andy Hakeem, fundraiser Ray Mitchell and MSP Richard Lyle

Margaret passed away last month just a few weeks after Francie lost his own battle with cancer.

John, from Bellshill, raised £1100 for Cancer Research UK by completing the Kilt Walk from Glasgow to Loch Lomondside last year and is re-doubling his efforts to surpass that figure.

He said: “It was always my plan to raise funds for cancer research again, but what’s happened over the last year has made me even more determined.”

Writing on his Just Giving page, the 58-year-old, who fought in Northern Ireland and the Falklands, added: “People think that because you are an ex-soldier seeing death comes easy.

“Let me tell you it doesn’t when it’s one of your family. In a war or conflict it’s a shot and no suffering, but when it’s cancer it’s months and years of pain and suffering, trying to stay strong for all those around you.” John, who also lost his younger sister Elizabeth O’Donnell at the end of last year, was handed a £500 boost from Bellshill charity champion Ray Mitchell on Friday. It’s the latest proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets at Bellshill Post Office which has boosted so many good causes over the years.

Ray, who thanked customers and also Lawmuir Stores for its support, said: “I was only too happy to help John’s own fundraising especially after what the family have gone through.”

John, whose exploits include trekking the West Highland Way five times, now works at Warburtons bakery in Bellshill. He will be joined in the Kilt Walk on April 30 by work colleagues Brian and Gail Dawson.

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Thomas Saveall won the Project Spotlight Volunteer award at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference. He was presented with a silver Quaich by HRH Princess Anne. Picture - Stewart Attwood''''All images � Stewart Attwood Photography 2019.  All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes