Lord Ashdown was ‘simply Paddy’ in Norton-sub-Hamdon


Paddy and Jane AshdownPicture copyright
Barry Batchelor

Lord Ashdown, who died aged 77 on Saturday, was “merely Paddy” to locals within the Somerset village the place he lived for many years.

The previous Yeovil MP first moved to the county within the 1970s and lived in Norton-sub-Hamdon.

When he entered the Lords in 2001 it was as Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon.

“Regionally he wasn’t ‘Lord Ashdown’ however merely ‘Paddy’,” stated Revd Peter Thomas, of St Mary’s Church.

“Although the village was, in fact, proud he took its identify as his title.

“Paddy and [his wife] Jane have been very a lot a part of the Norton neighborhood throughout a few years.

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The Revd Peter Thomas stated a “gentle has gone out from the village”

“It was right here that he may stroll his canine, or pop right into a pub or village store, or cease for a chat and the dialog can be concerning the household and the neighborhood fairly than nationwide issues.

“A lightweight has gone out from the village.”

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Publican Mark Lysandrou stated it was “unhappy and an awesome loss to this neighborhood, to the village and to Yeovil”

Mark Lysandrou, landlord of the Lord Nelson pub, stated: “Paddy was an awesome man. He believed in his native village, his household and the native space. I’ve recognized him for a couple of years.

“He was completely wonderful [as a customer]. An awesome man who at all times introduced good enjoyable, good laughter into the pub.”

Following a navy profession, Lord Ashdown was chosen because the Liberal candidate in his spouse’s residence constituency of Yeovil in 1976.

However it was not till 1983 that his campaigning in Yeovil paid off and he received the seat.

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Lord Ashdown worshipped at St Mary’s Church within the village

Earlier than he turned an MP, he took a job with a subsidiary of the Westland Helicopter firm primarily based in Yeovil.

Former AgustaWestland chairman Graham Cole stated: “Paddy was a terrific good friend of the corporate. Each time I wanted to satisfy him for recommendation, he at all times made himself obtainable.

“He cared passionately concerning the firm and the individuals who labored for it.”

Tributes from Somerset continued to return in on Sunday.

Yeovil School paid tribute on Twitter and described him as an “unbelievable supporter of our faculty”.

Whereas Bathtub’s Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse stated on Twitter he was “a visionary”.

David Heath, the previous Lib Dem MP for Somerton and Frome, stated it was “crushingly unhappy information”.

“Paddy was the very best of mates, and for over 30 years we labored alongside one another to struggle for a greater future for our nation and for native individuals in Somerset,” Mr Heath stated.

“The nation, and Somerset specifically, will likely be a poorer place with out him.”

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Lord Ashdown lived in Norton-sub-Hamdon for many years


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