In Memory


Farewell to Chris Trueman. B.ED. J.P. A.S.T. F.R.S.A!



The SOS Cancer Support Group wish to dedicate the renamed S.L.O.P. WEBSITE now SOS WEBSITE to the memory of Chris Trueman, Core member and first Chairman , who gave the group its name ’SLOP’ which is an acronym for ”Stomach, Liver, Oesophageal and Pancreatic” types of Cancer.


Chris said” I have had a great life, no regrets, loads of blessings, so let’s keep positive”.


He was much loved and will be sadly missed by all.



The Parting Glass (lyrics)


Of all the money that ere I had, I spent it in good company.

And of all the harm that ere I've done, alas was done to none but me.

And all I've done for want of wit, to memory now I cannot recall.

So fill me to the parting glass. Goodnight and joy be with you all

Of all the comrades that ere I had, they're sorry for my going away,

And of all the sweethearts that ere I had , they wish me one more day to stay,

But since it falls unto my lot that I should rise while you should not,

I will gently rise and I'll softly call, "Goodnight and joy be with you all!"

Oh, if I had money enough to spend and leisure time to sit awhile

There is a fair maid in this town that sorely has my heart beguiled

Her rosey cheeks and ruby lips, she alone has my heart in thrall.

So fill me to the parting glass. Goodnight and joy be with you all.



Chris was an only child, the son of military parents who were constantly moving around the globe on postings. He was born in Yeovil, “in passing”; then spent his childhood in Europe, West Africa and Singapore. After college he began his teaching career at Bletchley Grammar School in 1971, where he soon displayed his understanding for young people with any sort of need. In these early years he set up the first internal withdrawal unit for troubled pupils in Buckinghamshire. He then became teacher-in-charge of an observation and assessment centre; as he liked to say, he was a “TIC in an OAC”!


In 1986 he and his wife moved the family to Warton, and in 1987 he came to work at Skerton Community High School. This school won his whole heart and he worked there until only two months before his death, ending his professional career as Head of School. He was highly respected and greatly loved at the school by colleagues and pupils alike.


Alongside his professional career Chris had many varied interests – mountain walking, amateur dramatics, photography. He was fascinated by history in all its forms and would pounce on any piece of scrap, junk, stone or paper if he thought it had any historical significance! It would then have to be hoarded or displayed somewhere in the house.


With his long experience of troubled youngsters it was suggested he should become a magistrate. This he did in 1995, and he very much enjoyed the role, which he fulfilled admirably.


Devoted to his family, he was a loving and slightly indulgent father, totally committed to his three children and then their partners. He encouraged them in their various professions and supported them in their varying interests. He would spend evenings at the pub with his father and father in law, running pub quizzes and enjoying the craic.


No short account of Chris’ life would be complete without reference to his passion for driving and motorbikes. Having enjoyed his MG and motorbikes when he was younger, he rediscovered his love for machines with his much-loved Honda Shadow and described himself as “The Bald Biker”.


After his diagnosis with oesophageal cancer in 2009, Chris announced his family car as ‘much too sensible’ and he moved over to a Mazda MX5 which he loved to drive, polish and embellish with suitable ornament! Only 6 weeks before his death he was driving on the mad mountain roads of Corfu.


He lived with illness in his characteristically positive and up-beat way. He always wanted to encourage others who may also be suffering and remained incredibly strong and busy right until the end. He was an amazing husband, father, son, father in law, son in law, teacher, friend. He died peacefully at St Johns Hospice on 22nd November 2011, surrounded by his family and tended lovingly by the wonderful staff there.


This is his legacy; it is how we shall all remember Chris in the years to come. His illness may have taken him from us – but it will never rob us of his memory.


“Gently rise and softly call, goodnight and joy be to you all.”







Colin W France ( Past Chairman )

My name is Colin France and after only taking 75 mg Aspirin daily, for 10 years, I was diagnosed in March 2009 with a triple whammy at 71 years of age. I was told I had clots on my lungs, Angina and Oesophageal Cancer. I was immediately put on Warfarin for life but due to my Angina they could not give me any treatment for the cancer as I would need a triple by-pass so my heart could cope with the Oesophagectomy which could be a ten hour operation. The worst time for my family and myself, was the fact they could not give me any treatment for the cancer prior to the Oesophagectomy this was 7 months of wondering how the cancer was progressing. Fortunately the cancer was still contained in my gullet and the operation after my triple bypass and for Oesophageal Cancer was successful.

It is now 6 years since the surgery and can only say, Positivity and the wonderful NHS treatment and care has given me a life far in excess of my expectations after the diagnosis in March 2009. Living with the changes in my body have at times been difficult especially reflux problems.

I have enjoyed playing a part in forming our Cancer Support Group and promise to give my full support and help to both pre and post-op patients who are waiting for or have had their surgery and also their Carers.

My journey has taught me there really is a life after Cancer.


It is with great sadness that "SOS CANCER SUPPORT GROUP" announce the death of our Chairman Colin William France, who died on the 11th.September 2015, after a long illness borne with great fortitude, much bravery and a dogged determination to carry out his responsibilities at SOS Cancer Support Group for as long as possible. A celebration of his life from 27th.May 1938 - 11th.Sept 2015 took place at Lancaster and Morecambe Crematorium on Friday 25th.Sept 2015 at 1.15pm.

He will be sadly missed by all and our thoughts go out to his wife Sylvia , family and friends.



Richard Townsley ( Core Member )

Richard was Diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer in 2009. He had his oesophagus removed at Preston general hospital on 4th August 2010. Due to contracting double pneumonia his hospital stay was much longer than predicted.


On the 28th of February 2015, sadly Richard Townsley passed away and will be greatly missed by all, our thoughts go out to his wife Pat, Family and Friends.


A celebration of the life of Richard Townsley from 26th Dec 1933 - 28th Feb 2015 and the funeral service, took place at Lancaster and Morecambe Crematorium on Friday 13th March 2015.


" When I come to the end of my journey

and I travel my last weary mile,

just forget if you can any frowns.

And remember only my smile".





Philip Old ( Core Member )

Phil Old attended his first S.L.O.P. Group Meeting on the 12th July 2012 and had his surgery for cancer in October 2012. We welcomed him back to our S.L.O.P. Meeting's on the 10th Jan 2013 and he continued attending, when possible, up to the 3rd.February 2017 when sadly Philip Old passed away peacefully at home.


He will be sadly missed by all, our thoughts go out to his wife Maggie, Family and Friends and please accept our deepest sympathy from all of us at the SOS Support Group.

Celebrating The Life of Philip Old


13th August 1950 - 3rd February 2017


Aged 66 years.


Service at St. Barnabas Church Darwen

Thursday 16th February 11.00am.

Followed by Interment at Darwen Cemetery


The Family would like to thank you all for your kindness and prayers during

this sad time and invited all for refreshments at

The Darwen Masonic Hall (Hawkshaw Suite) Darwen.