Steve Cattell's Home Page
Marilyn and I in Angermunde, Germany July 2016
Warner Bros Studio Tour 17/2/14
Warner Bros Studio Tour - 9th December 2013
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Make my day, punk!!
These are about the last photos of me standing (and in case you are worried about the gun, it's a laser "shotgun" used to fire at reflective clay pigeons), taken in the Lake District just over a week before the crash
I am 64 (6 January), married, 2 children, 8 grand children, 2 dogs and 4 chickens and on the 2nd of February 1996 I had a car crash
At the time of the crash I lived about 10 miles from Gloucester, England in a small village called Longhope. The cottage I lived in with my family is on a hill and overlooks the Forest of Dean. for photographs and maps, click here. Unfortunately the cottage was not wheelchair-friendly and I moved first to Westward Ho! and then to Ancaster in Lincolnshire to be back near family again. Then on 12th January 2005 we moved to a nice bungalow in Hougham, just down the road where we have lived the longest of all our houses - so far. We have lived in many houses so most of them are shown here - houses
Hougham Village Website which I run.
Still a terrible passenger
In 2001 we bought a house in Cape Town, my surgeon in Gloucester was from there, but had to sell it in 2006. But we would love to return.
me and my bruvver - 3rd January 2014
I was born in Leicester and lived in Oadby until I was 18 and joined the RAF. My father was one of the 2 Chemists in the village as it was then, and we lived at the shop "Ye Original Pharmacy" until I was 13, when I went to Switzerland with the school and my parents moved house while I was away! We carried on living in Oadby, 41 Fairstone Hill as the first occupants of a new house.
I was in the Scouts 16th Leicester (Oadby) - man and boy - well from the cubs at 7 through the Scouts to the Venture Scouts when I left because of enlisting in the RAF.
I left school at 17 - I was a year underage - I missed second year at Junior school - my schools were Sandhurst Street, Langmoor, Gartree and Beauchamp - with pictures of the first reunion in 2010 40 years after we left - and did various jobs as I was unsure of what I wanted to do with 6 O levels and 1 A level. If I had passed both A levels I was to go to Leicester Poly to study civil engineering. So I joined the Oadby and Wigston Council (Oadby Roads Department) and for 6 months or so I repaired (or not) the roads and pavements around Oadby. I got bored with that so then got a job at Woolco as the washer up in the Red Grill. After that I became a packer at Rowleys before moving into my Granddad's job as Time Keeper when my Grandma became ill and he retired to look after her.
On 27th July 1971 I took the Queen's shilling (actually £2) at the Leicester CIO and on the 29th I went to RAF Swinderby for basic training, then RAF Debden for trade training - RAF Police. My postings were then 1001 SU - RAF Oakhanger (1971 to 1973), RAF Aldergrove (1973 to 1974), RAF Northolt (1974 to 1976), RAF Buchan (1976 to 1977), HQ 1 Group RAF Bawtry (1977 to 1979), P&SS Gutersloh (1979 to 1981), RAF Gutersloh (1981 to 1982), HQ 38 Group RAF Upavon (1982 to 1984, RAF Police School, RAF Newton - first as a CI Instructor (1984 to 1987, then as a Computer Security Instructor (1987 to 1990).
Picture from the Nuclear Times, their in-house newspaper warning of computer viruses which were just becoming a problem, the screen behind me supposedly shows the Cascade virus. In those days they were fairly harmless and only transfered from floppy disk. The Cascade virus dropped all your letters to the bottom of the screen
Marilyn, Virginia (sister in law) and me - 3rd January 2014
In February 1996 I was involved in a car crash and shattered both my legs. If you wish to read about the crash, and see pictures of the road where it happened, click here for details of the car crash and pictures of the car . Also linked are transcripts from the trial where the other driver was found guilty of careless driving.
If you want read about my subsequent treatment and see pictures of the Ilizarov frame and other leg, then click here for my medical details. This all ended in January 1999 with the amputation of my left leg above the knee. But in March 2000, I was diagnosed with Diabetes, which was aggravated by the crash, the trauma and the infection. (According to the Doctor I saw when diagnosed until the other side (see below) asked him, then the crash had nothing to do with it and it was all because I was overweight!!)
It might seem a bit weird to see the King's name on my web page, after all he didn't put my name on his, but seriously, I think what I went through was what exactly what Henry went 500 years ago through but of course without modern medicines. History says he changed after he was knocked off his horse in a joust, in fact he was unconscious for 2 hours and then he turned nastier and got fatter with a bad ulcer on his left leg until he was morbidly obese, unable to move with a 54 inch waist, and died of syphilis. (Although the last bit is wrong as there is no record of Henry being treated with mercury - the "cure" for syphilis in those days.)
Well I think that much of this is wrong. I went
through the abysmal temper and change of mood after the car crash,
because of Concussive Brain Injury when my brain hit the
inside of my skull. I had the massive infection (as Henry had). I then
got diabetes through the infection and trauma and my temper was
terrible again until it was bought under control.
So putting me in Henry's place I feel I can empathise completely with him as I have had all his conditions but I had the modern medical treatments of antibiotics, diabetes medicine and pain killers which he didn't and of course I don't have the power to put people to death - something I wish I could have done many times!
The pain must have been terrible from the infection and I too have a waist size of 54 inches but I am still as active as I can be in the wheelchair. I believe Henry must have been immobile because of the infection which probably ate into his femur and "broke" his leg apart, hardly something that he would wish to walk around on and he probably died from diabetes and its complications combined with the infection.
I have mentioned this to Tudor Historian Suzannah Lipscombe http://suzannahlipscomb.com/ and she is now putting this forward as a new slant on Henry and his change and death.
Civil Law Suit
The civil legal process in the UK took years for my claim to be settled, even though the other driver was found guilty in criminal court of careless driving. The other side made an offer, which on the advice of council was been accepted, that if I accept 25% of the blame for the crash, we don't have to go to court to decide liability - marvellous system, isn't it? The court date was set for 5 - 9 March 2001 - although this screwed up twice - the Court lost the papers and therefore the date and then they wanted to move it to Winchester at 2 days notice!!!! We settled out of court 6 March 2001 for a smaller amount because of the stress on my heart, on medical advice. The other side had already reduced the offer on the table because of my diabetes, even though I didn't have diabetes when I had the crash and it was caused by their client. Great system isn't it?
I have discovered that I still have to buy a pair of shoes every time although I only use one. I know I don't wear them out very quickly but it seems a waste to throw away my left shoes. In Cape Town I gave them to a guy who sold Big Issues and had lost the opposite leg but over here it is not as easy to find someone. So I have set up a page to enable people who only use one shoe or one glove of a pair to swap with others in a similar situation with the opposite spare. Just email me a picture, details, (size, width, material etc) and an email address to email@example.com, and I will put it on this page. You can either then swap items or a one way transaction would be paying for the post and packaging.
Where does the name Cattell originate? - click here for some ideas
I spend a lot of time on the computer as well as watching TV and doing cross stitch. Cross stitch pictures .
I no longer work after having been medically retired but before the crash I was into security, particularly computer security.towards the end. I was a School Governor at my grandsons' school for 3 years until 2009. And as I said above I do a lot with the RAF Police Association so I am kept occupied. I also created and run a website for the village and am the Programme Secretary of the Local History Group and as such I also sit on the Village Hall Committee where I am the Booking Secretary.
I am also a member of the local Book Club, I used to deliver the newspapers in the village at weekends until the papershop took over all deliveries, help with the Neighbourhood Watch and love archaeology so keep as busy as I can manage.
We decided that holidays were such a drag with ensuring the rooms and wheelchair access were ok and comfy beds etc so we go to the theatre a lot now - Nottingham, Newark, Coventry, Birmingham and London are our main spots.
In September 2015 we bought Winnie - a 1990 Winnebago Itasca Spirit Motorhome to see if we liked motorhoming as much as we used to like caravanning. Here she is at Huttoft Hard Standing on our first trip out in her.
In June/July 2016 we drove her to Poland - read about our adventures here.
We found we loved motorhoming but we found Winnie was just a bit old and battered and leaky so we sold her in January 2017 to a Pakistani family from Bradford who wanted to try motorhoming and in February 2017 bought Flo.
We just loved her registration number.
I also like to write letters to the Newspapers, mainly the Daily Telegraph and the Grantham Journal now although I have done it in Gloucester, Devon and Cape Town too. The Daily Telegraph ran an article on 3rd December on their regular and published letter writers and I was included. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/6711588/Daily-Telegraph-letter-writers-Dear-Sir-we-are-not-alone-in-thinking.html
I did have my own column Cattell among the pigeons in the Grantham Journal every week after a few letters from readers asking them to give me one - Here they are but after I went on holiday for 6 weeks, another columnist was recruited to cover, and the Editor decided to ring the changes and leave them with the weekly input, so sod them.
Family and Pets
My daughter Cathy who was very supportive of Marilyn especially when I had my frame on. I haven't that many pictures of her but there are a few here through the years.
My son Christopher who is an actor and who wrote in my previous guestbook (now gone after spam) complaining about lack of a mention - these bloody luvvies!!! He became a daddy of Natalie last year with Ania, who is Polish but who he met in Spain when he was working there. Ania and Christopher married at Grantham on the 19th August 2011. They now live in Poland near Ania's parents. Christopher teaches English as a foreign language and runs a drama workshop and is trying to learn Polish.
For pictures our 3 grandsons - grandsons.
Jake, Ben and Seth
For pictures of our 5 granddaughters - granddaughters
Immy, Delilah and Maisie in this country and Natalie and Hanna in Poland
Our three dogs, Spice Baby Emma, and Mollie and Mandy, our Miniature Schnauzers.
We put Emma to sleep on the 25th October 2010. She had refused her meds and food and told us it was time.
and on 13th May 2011 we put Molly to sleep. She had been losing weight and sleeping a lot and we found she had had a massive kidney failure. On 30th January 2014, we had to put Mandy to sleep after a short illness. She had been very active playing with Max - see below - only a week before she fell ill. RIP Molly, Mandy and Emma
on 7 October 2012 we got Max, a cockapoo to keep Mandy company as our Ruby Wedding present to each other and after Mandy's death, Max needed someone to play with so on 2 February 2014 we got Phoebe, another cockapoo.
and our chickensand my mother and brother, together with Marilyn just after Christmas 2009. He lives in New Zealand so we don't see him that often but my mother was in Wigston Fields so didn't see her that often as I couldn't get in her house but in March 2016 she moved into a care home in Grantham.
My Mother's 80th Birthday party
In 1918 I lost a Great Uncle on my Father's side in the First World War and here is my tribute to him with letters and pictures
in 1944 I lost a Great Uncle on my Mother's side - again here is my tribute to him
Also on Twitter - @unipede and Facebook - Steve Cattell
Links to other sites
RAF Police Associates
Hougham Village website