Tributes paid to Torpoint bus driver Jim Goddard
THE TORPOINT community has been honouring "one of life's true gentleman's gentleman" following the death of much-loved bus driver Jim Goddard.
More than 400 people crammed into St James Church, Torpoint, to pay their respects to the father of five who died on August 28, just hours after completing his final duty on Service 80 the evening before.
Mr Goddard, the founder of Jim's taxis and A-line coaches, and a familiar face within the community, was 68 when he died.
"He used to drive the early morning buses," said his foster son Daniel Tweedie. "That was his social life – everybody knew him.
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"We all knew how popular he was, even when he was alive we used to get people saying lovely things about him."
Mr Goddard grew up in Torpoint and lived in the area for the rest of his life. He was fostered along with his sister from the age of eight and, after marrying his wife, Dawn, they too decided to foster.
"He joined the Royal Navy in 1960 when he was 15," Mr Tweedie said.
"He trained as a physical training instructor on HMS Temeraire and he met mum in Torpoint while he was in the Navy.
"He was fostered when he was a child and they fostered me when I was five. I was their first child and then they had Leanne and Ryan."
The family lived in Torpoint until the late Eighties before moving to St John.
"My mum was diagnosed with cancer and sadly she passed away in 1988," said Mr Tweedie.
"I was 18, my sister was 12 and Ryan was only eight. Dad did a great job bringing us up on his own and running the businesses as well."
As well as supporting his family, Jim also ran the town's youth club.
"Unfortunately, at the time he was running it, they had no money, so he had to use his own funds. He did a lot of good work in the town," Mr Tweedie said.
Mr Goddard later met Bet and took on the role of stepdad to her two daughters, Zoe and Heather.
"He was a strong family man – completely selfless," Mr Tweedie said.
Mr Goddard died suddenly at his home on August 28 – a converted chapel that he had lived in since the late Eighties.
"He had deep vein thrombosis in his leg. We told him to go to the doctors but he said he didn't have time for that. He was due to get up for work on the Wednesday but called one of the other drivers to cover," Mr Tweedie said.
Later in the morning he died at home after blood clots travelled to his lungs.
Following his death, the family said they have been inundated with tributes to his memory.
Former Fourlanesend Primary School pupil Laurence Mayhew recalled fond memories of the well-known bus driver.
He told the Cornish Guardian: "The school being right at the top of a steep hill meant that on wet days the walk wasn't particularly inviting and even on a good day the steepness wasn't kind to 5-year -old legs.
"More than often, mum and I would hop aboard Jim's bus and journey to Fourlanesend.
"The way he looked after us on there was quite unforgettable and indeed, completely selfless.
"Not only would he get out of the bus and help us cross the road, not only would he let all the kids have a toot on the horn as they got off, but every Easter and Christmas he would always buy chocolate for all the regular kids."
Describing Mr Goddard "one of life's true gentleman's gentleman," Mr Mayhew said Jim, who later became a mentor to the youngster, was one of the greatest men he had ever known.
"All the school kids that knew dad keep saying how much advice he gave them," Mr Tweedie said.