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South Lakes painter dies after roof fall
A PAINTER and decorator plunged to his death while working on the roof of a house in a South Lakeland village.
Safety investigators are trying to piece together how Geoffrey Davis fell from two-storey Mount Pleasant, in Gatebeck.
Mr Davis, 59, of Kendal, was flown by air ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital following the accident. He had head and chest injuries and died hours later.
The father-of-five lived with his mother Sylvia at Edgecombe Court. She is registered blind and said she was struggling to come to terms with her son’s death.
Gatebeck homeowner Tony Mason was outside his house when Mr Davis fell. He said his wife Rosemary glimpsed a figure falling through the air.
Mr Mason, a 62-year-old former head teacher, said: “It was dreadful. We have both been shocked. We called an ambulance and I went to try to help him. He was unconscious.
“The other man who had been working on the roof was in a state. We were all left very upset.”
Mrs Davis, 82, said: “He told me before he left that morning that it was a beautiful day – the best we had had all week. He said he would bring back three pints of milk.
“The police came and told me what had happened. I was told he was touch and go for a while, but then he died. I was told he looked peaceful and I take comfort in that.”
The North West Air Ambulance was called to the scene of the accident at 10.05am. Cumbria Police are investigating the circumstances of the incident with the Health and Safety Executive.
Mrs Davis said her son had grown up with sister Angela, in Burneside, and went to St Oswald’s School and Kirkbie Kendal School.
He ‘loved every minute of his life’, she said.
Mr Davis worked as a boiler man at James Cropper, in Burneside, and then became a painter and decorator.
He had two children, Louise and Paul, with his first wife Maureen. Later, he married Debbie and had three more children, Christopher, Alistair, and Matthew, who died.
Mr Davis was a passionate music fan who loved the Rolling Stones and was a regular at Bootleggers Music Bar, on Finkle Street, in Kendal.
In recent years he began to suffer the same degenerative eye condition as his mother but he continued to work.
Mrs Davis said: “He was always in a good mood. A couple of years ago he started to get the same blindness as me, but he accepted it.
“He was a very caring son. If he could help anybody he would.”
She said she wanted the Rolling Stones played at her son’s funeral, in tribute to him.
“He was a big fan - he had so many of their records that when he changed home they wouldn’t fit and he had to sell a few.
“He was determined to see them when they went on tour next year.”
His father Cyril, who was known as Fred, died more than 20 years ago. Mrs Davis said: “If he is with his dad now they will be having an amazing time.”
Long term friend Mike Harrison, 56, of Kendal, said: “Geoff was a good mate and a great friend.
“He had loads of friends in the community. He got the nickname Smackers at Croppers and he was known as a rocker because of his love of music. This is a real tragedy.”
The coroner has been informed. Mr Davis’s funeral is to take place at St Oswald’s Parish Church, Burneside, at 11.30am, on Tuesday August 14.