Air crash or­phan breaks her si­lence af­ter 50 years

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

AWOMAN or­phaned by one of the worst avi­a­tion dis­as­ters in Bri­tish his­tory has bro­ken her si­lence ahead of the 50th an­niver­sary.

Amanda Stott, from Bolling­ton, was six-year­sold when her par­ents Brian and Anne were killed when a hol­i­day char­ter air­craft crashed on Stock­port town cen­tre.

The tragedy on June 4, 1967, killed 72 peo­ple on board. Amaz­ingly, 10 pas­sen­gers, a stew­ardess and the pi­lot sur­vived.

Amanda and mem­bers of her fam­ily are at­tend­ing a me­mo­rial ser­vice at the me­mo­rial at Hopes Carr this Sunday.

Amanda, 56, said: “I have never been to the me­mo­rial or spo­ken pub­licly about what hap­pened. As chil­dren my brother Philip and I were never en­cour­aged to talk about it. Peo­ple han­dled things very dif­fer­ently back then. It was prob­a­bly too painful.

“Mum and dad had been on their first hol­i­day since they were mar­ried. I was stay­ing with my grand­par­ents.

“I re­call my grand­mother say­ing to me ‘they are not com­ing back’.

“As a child you are a lot more ac­cept­ing of things, but I know it was mon­u­men­tal for my fam­ily.

“My grand­fa­ther, mum’s dad, never got over it. It broke his heart.”

At the time of the crash Amanda’s par­ents were run­ning a post of­fice in Chea­dle.

Amanda and her brother, who was only three, went to live with her aunt and un­cle in a house next door to her grand­par­ents.

Her fam­ily used com­pen­sa­tion cash from the air­line to pay for a pri­vate education for the chil­dren.

Amanda says while this helped her to be­come in­de­pen­dent, it pre­vented her from deal­ing her loss.

Amanda, who is an in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor for Cheshire East Coun­cil, said: “I didn’t prop­erly ac­knowl­edge what had hap­pened un­til my 30s, around the 25th an­niver­sary, when an au­thor con­tacted me.

“I re­alised I had never talked about it or even looked at news­pa­per cut­tings.

“It’s like I had put it in a box so I didn’t have to think about it any more.

“See­ing it in black and white hit me mas­sively.”

Among Amanda’s most cher­ished pos­ses­sions are post­cards her par­ents sent from their hol­i­day.

She said: “I think about mum and dad ev­ery day.

“On my desk at home I have a tro­phy dad won where I keep my pens and I have a few pho­tos of them, to re­dress the balance that there were none when I was grow­ing up.

“My mem­o­ries of mum and dad are blended with sto­ries and pho­tos.

“But there is one I am sure is my own and that is of me sat up in bed be­tween them laugh­ing.

“That’s what I re­mem­ber most about them, the laugh­ter. They were al­ways hav­ing fun.”

Do­minic Sal­ter

Amanda Stott (inset) was or­phaned by the Stock­port Air Dis­as­ter of June 4, 1967. Now she has spo­ken about it for the first time

Amanda pic­tured with her mother, Anne, fa­ther, Brian and brother Philip

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