Tributes have been paid to the general manager of the Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum, who died suddenly following a heart attack on Saturday, January 11.
David Henderson, aged 57, was on his way home from a Northampton Town football game at the team’s Sixfields ground with his nine-year-old son, Alex, when he collapsed at the wheel of his car.
A St John’s Ambulance volunteer and two off-duty policeman helped get Mr Henderson out of his vehicle and give him emergency resuscitation.
However, he died shortly after being taken to Northampton General Hospital.
As well as Alex, he also leaves behind wife, Amanda, three adult children – Laura, Kerry and James – and grandchildren.
Mrs Henderson told the Advertiser the family were devastated.
She said: “David was a dedicated father and loving husband who will be missed greatly by his family and the community.
“The family would like to thank the lady who called me at the time of the incident, the person who called the emergency services, the paramedics and the hospital staff.
“Special thanks to the police officers who were fantastic with Alex.”
Mr Henderson joined the Canal Museum in 2006.
Deputy manager Louise Stockwin said: “David and I had worked together for seven years or more.
“It’s a very small team here and everybody really pulls together.
“There are the Friends of the Canal Museum that work here, the volunteers and the educational team. They’re all very sad.
“It’s like losing one of the members of the family.
“He was very cheerful. He liked to think of himself as a ‘10-minute manager’ – if somebody came up with an idea, he liked to get it done and dusted in 10 minutes.
“He encouraged the young volunteers. He was very forward thinking, he had lots of get up and go.
“The Village At War event started in his time here.
“For these things to work you need everybody to come together and make sure things happen, and he was one of those who made things happen.
“We all send our condolences to his family.”
Chairman of the Friends of the Canal Museum, David Blagrove, said: “He’s a great loss.
“He came to the museum at a time when it was in a very rundown condition.
“The Friends had been formed a short while before to try to improve things, and we worked together.
“He certainly turned the fortunes of the museum round and introduced all sorts of new things to bring in young people, such as a Pirates Weekend in the school holidays, which have not only made the museum more prosperous but also more popular.
“He joined in very enthusiastically with events we put on in support of the museum. All of us are pretty knocked back by his early demise.
“He brought a fresh look at things and he made a great deal of difference to the museum and let’s hope it carries on that way.”