Thinking, remembering

June 22nd, 2014 was a grim day for Colne.  Events unfolded that day that will be painfully carved into our minds forever.

This was the day that James Goodship lost his life at Foulridge Reservoir whilst out on a raft with a number of his friends. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to save him.  At the time, they were all teenagers – James was 17 years old. 

Sun 22nd June 2014 – Fun to tragedy
This is probably the last photo of James. It was a lovely sunny day and they were all out having fun and their raft drifted into the centre on the lake.  They were unaware of the serious effects that cold water can have on your body and James tried to swim ashore to get help. James was a strong swimmer but quickly got into difficulties. His friends tried to get to him to help him, but almost lost another person in the process.  The second photo of is after they realised he was lost. (First photo taken by one of their friends who stayed on land. Second photo by Karen Clarke).

It’s painful and perhaps shocking reminder of the dangers of cold water – but we know full well that if it helps saves just one life, then the family will be 100% behind it.

On the walk around the reservoir on 29th June, I spoke to many of of those on the raft on that day. That was painful to listen to and they all were in a dark place.  On that walk, I had to put the camera’s away and ended up in tears on the lake side.

News spread rapidly and it’s fair to say that the whole town descended into feeling grief. So many teenagers were in bits – they had to do something. So, they started a on a set of fundraising for James. I first met Liam (who was on the raft and also James’s best friend) in Colne town centre whilst he was out trying to fund raise. 

Fundraising & Coverage
26-Jun 2014: Liam’s collection for James (Colne Town Centre)
27-Jun-2014: Fundraiser at Bombay Lounge
28-Jun-2014: Fundraising at Lord Street School and by local business (e.g. Hedgehog florists etc)
29-Jun-2014: Walk around Foulridge Reservoir.
03-Jul-2014: The funeral.

The Funeral
Colne was taken over by thousands of people. Colne Parish Church was completely full and people waited in the Church grounds and on the streets.

Emily, Chelsea & Clovis were responsible for the pink socks all over Colne. We remember their thoughtful efforts.

Mel asked us to record the events at the funeral. Knowing that one photographer would not be able to capture the spirit of the whole event, I asked for help from other photographers that I trusted … and Colin Bean & Karen Clarke volunteered.  We managed it between us, but it was a seriously tough task. Bear in mind, at that point, we weren’t well known and taking pictures of folk grieving could have gone pear shaped so easily.  Luckily, James’s family were behind us.  I think all the photographers will agree that was probably the hardest thing we’ve ever had to photograph.

Other Coverage
04-Jul-2014: Cemetery visit (flowers etc).
20-Jul-2014: Multi-piece story covering the town’s respect.
22-Sep-2014: Pete’s Tattoo of James at Blood Sweat & Tattoos.
26-Feb-2015: James Goodship Memorial Garden
07-Mar-2015: James Goodship Memorial Garden (Community Action Day)
10-Mar-2015: James Goodship Memorial Garden 
12-Mar-2015: James Goodship Memorial Garden 
13-Mar-2015: James Goodship 18th Birthday (private family event at the Cemetery)
14-Mar-2014: James Goodship Memorial Garden – Opening Day
19-Jul-2015: James Goodship Fun Day 2015
22-Jun-2015: Balloon launch at Foulridge Reservoir.
25-Jul-2016: James Goodship Fun Day 2016
22-Jun-2017: James Goodship Memorial Walk (in onesies!)

Bear in mind, these are *just* the events that we managed to attend, and it’s likely that not all of those are listed either. There are so many more, but you get the idea of the scale and extent of the local feelings.

Five Years On … the positives
Many strong friendships have been forged out of this tragic event – not only for Pete, Mel and the Goodship family but us too. To this day, we still remain in contact with many people, still help them out and it’s nice to see them doing well.

Looking back at the photo’s that we were doing back in 2014, it highlighted that the ‘Colne Talk’ group was only a few months old and we were visiting businesses/events etc and trying to create a positive community where people helped each other out and generally worked together to improve local life.  Thinking back, it was quite amazing what our young folk achieved after this. Writing about it now seems a bit of an understatement, as there were literally thousands of people involved.

Mel & Pete have been helping to raise awareness of water safety across the region for quite some years now. In fact, so much that I couldn’t possibly begin to explain. They helped create a very effective water safety awareness video to in conjunction with with Lancashire Fire & Service. It’s not for the faint hearted, but here it is :-

Also, through sheer hard work, the family have ensured that Foulridge Reservoir is made a little safer … two throw boards have been installed on Lower Foulridge Reservoir. Hopefully, they will never need to be used.

Not surprisingly, Mel was recently formally recognised for her efforts with promoting water safety. However, I suspect her own personal reward is making things safer all round. Here she is at Buckingham Palace …

Drowning Prevention Week (14 June – 24th June 2019)
Mel Goodship:

Drowning prevention week runs from 14 June – 24 June this year. To coincide with this and also the 5th anniversary of James losing his life in Foulridge reservoir, James’ family along with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Canal and River Trust will be at the sailing club on Friday 21st June at 11am. This will be the opportunity for all involved to show the public the throw boards that have been installed to hopefully prevent further tragedies. Pupils from the local high school have been asked to attend and see the throw lines in action (they will be used to show what to do if anyone sees anyone struggling in the water).

As you are all aware we have put a lot of time and effort into making the reservoir a safer place with adequate signs and water safety equipment and we would love to see you there to support us and to keep James’ memory alive xx

If you could let me know if you are planning on coming that would be great. The event will probably take no more than 60-90 minutes. Thanks x

Pete & Joanne have recently got married!
Everyone has always kept in touch and their wedding was attended by many of our (now) young adults. Pete is forever helping young folk out as much as he can … he recently put up some bedroom furniture for one girl who was moving into her own flat. There is some outstanding video footage of the coach back! Unfortunately, I can’t find it! #Colne’sGotTalent? 

Here are a couple of photo’s taken by Karen Clarke of 5 Little Boys Photography.  For those that recall those days many years ago, Karen assisted us with capturing memories of the funeral and some key events – so rather nice that she captured some good moments too! We could put up a photo of Karen with her pink filly socks on outside Colne Parish Church, but she’ll probably shout at us! 😉

Res Walk in Memory of James – Sat 22nd June 2019

Pete Goodship:

We will be doing a res walk in memory of James on the 5th anniversary of his passing on Saturday 22nd June at 7.30 pm, we have decided that if everyone who attends brings a single flower to place in the water (if a group want to buy a bunch that’s fine) the weather isn’t meant to be good but we hope to see you there.

ps. There’s loads of people that could be mentioned here, but it’s impossible to even try to cover them all. I’ve stepped away from trying to write this story from a depersonalised viewpoint. It’s quite impossible and very painful to write. Over time, I’ll upload the stories for the various key events and follow-ups & integrate them to this story.

Love to all x

RIP James.

Like our work? Support us!

You can support our work within the community and the development of our community website, social media pages & groups by making a donation to us.

Follow Us: Pinterest 
About Naz Alam 293 Articles
Naz is well known in the local community as a photo journalist. He is group creator for 'Colne Talk' - a Facebook Community Group which has approx 20K members. He also runs multiple Facebook pages for the local community & local business, such as 'Visit Colne'.