Tribute paid to Hemel crash victim

15 November 2010, 10:54 | Updated: 15 November 2010, 10:58

The family of a man who died on the A41 following a collision near Bourne End have paid tribute to man who ‘was the life and soul of the party’.

81-year old Harold Benson, of Turners Hill, Hemel Hempstead died when the car he was driving was, for reasons unknown at this time, involved in a collision with a coach southbound on the A41 shortly before 8 pm on Wednesday November 10th.

Harold leaves behind his wife Doreen, son David Benson and daughters Jan Nash and Tina Newell. He also leaves behind his granddaughters Sarah Newell and Sophie Nash.

His family have described him as “a good spirit who was the life and soul of the party.”

His daughter Jan said: “He was always in good form and joking. He loved his one liners, even if they were the same ones all of the time, they still made us laugh. We would say: ‘are you alright?’ And he’d reply: ‘no, I’m half left’, it used to get people laughing, and he always laughed at his own jokes. He was fun to be around.”

Harold was born in Bedlington, Northumberland where he grew up and whilst completing his national service with the Royal Air Force on coastal command he met Doreen at a dance hall. They married in 1950 and celebrated their diamond sixtieth wedding anniversary on August 19th this year.

Doreen and Harold moved to Hemel Hempstead in 1952 for Harold’s job. Harold worked for Dexings the shelving company until he was sixty and then worked for BSI.

Doreen said: “He loved dancing and we used to attend lots of ballroom dancing competitions. There used to be some in Dacorum. We both really enjoyed it. More recently he became really involved with the bowls club in Hemel Hempstead and was secretary of Kitchener’s bowls club.”

His son David, said: “I used to play snooker with Dad. He won lots of trophies for snooker, billiards and bowls and really enjoyed it. He was also a Newcastle fan, but kept that quiet, but he loved football and never missed Match Of The Day.”

“He was a real family man, loved by so many people and words cannot describe how much we are all going to miss him.”