Tributes to much-loved Martin

A FAMILY have paid tribute to a much-loved father and grandfather who died after jumping into a Clevedon river.

Martin Higgins left a series of notes attached to the railings of a bridge over the Blind Yeo in Lower Strode Road before he drowned.

At an inquest into his death, which was held at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court on August 9, it was heard his body was discovered in the river on May 30 by a couple walking their dog.

The 71-year-old of Old Church Road, who was known to many as Mattie, had left his walking stick against the railings along with six notes, some of which identifying who he was.

During last week’s hearing, a statement from the retired civil engineer’s daughter, Catherine Purdy, was read out. It revealed that on the same day as his body was discovered, she received a card in the post from her dad, which said thank you and also contained �100. Her statement also said: “Dad was a very proud person.

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“One thing was for sure, Dad was very much loved by his children and grandchildren.”

Mr Higgins was born in Ireland but moved to Clevedon when he met the mother of his four children, Ann, who grew up in the town. They later moved to Gloucester, where they raised their children but later divorced. About nine years ago, he returned to Clevedon to live, where he enjoyed an occasional horse racing bet as well as gardening. Tragically, just 19 days after his death, Ann also died. As well as their children, they also leave seven grandchildren.

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Their son, Paul Higgins said: “They were very much loved throughout the community of Clevedon. They were also cherished by their many friends in Gloucester. In his later years he returned to Clevedon, where he amassed an even greater number of friends.

“I know this is often said, but Dad was loved so deeply by all he met.

“His passing has left us all feeling so empty and sad for him.”

Assistant deputy coroner Terence Moore gave a verdict concluding Mr Higgins took his own life.

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