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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007, 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK
Club flood victim was 'lynchpin'
Tewkesbury Rugby Club
The men were pronounced dead at the scene
A 64-year-old man who died with his son as they cleared up flood damage at a Gloucestershire rugby club has been described as a community "lynchpin".

Bram and Chris Lane were clearing up at Tewkesbury RFC on Wednesday.

They were found dead the next morning. It is not known if they were overcome by fumes from a pump they were using to clear the flood water or electrocuted.

One resident said of Bram Lane, a former player and the club's treasurer and director: "The club was his life."

Mr Lane and his son, who was in his 20s, were working in the cellar of the club and decided to carry on trying to pump out flood water when everyone else went home.

Mr Lane senior had played for the team in his youth.

'Well known bloke'

Local resident Mandy Masters said: "He was just the sort of man who would go down there to sort things out - the club was his life.

"He was the real lynchpin. It is going to be a massive loss as he kept it all going tickety-boo.

"He was a very well known bloke, he had been at the club for donkeys' years.

"He looked after the bar and the social scene and watched the matches."

She said about 12 volunteers had gathered at the club in the Vineyard fields to help clear up the mess.

Les Adams, a member of the rugby club, said the centre had been damaged by the water surge.

"The problem was in the cellar, that was still flooded. They wanted to get it cleaned out and for the club to get going again," he said.

He described Mr Lane senior, who was a founder member, as the heart and soul of the club.

When we found out it was Bram I thought 'Oh no, what a loss'
Charlie Corderoy
Tewkesbury Rugby Club player

Charlie Corderoy, 21, who had played for Tewkesbury Rugby Club for the past two years, said Mr Lane's death would be a huge loss to the club.

"He was a very, very genuine guy.

"He would be the first to open the club and the last to leave it.

"All the players are really shocked. When we found out it was Bram I thought 'Oh no, what a loss'.

"It's going to be very difficult but I think we want to pick up the mood for him and to make sure we never forget him and Chris."

Safety warning

Chief fire officer Terry Standing said the deaths were a "tragedy" and urged people to think about safety before using pumps.

Tewkesbury was cut off in the flooding, with hundreds of homes left without power.

Attempts are under way to restore water to 10,000 homes in the town using a temporary supply.

Severn Trent Water issued a strict "do not drink" warning for anyone about to be connected to this supply even when it has been boiled, but said the water could be used for baths, showers and flushing toilets.

Some 140,000 households in Gloucestershire remain without water after a treatment plant flooded, and health and sanitation fears persist.

A phone line has been set for anyone requiring the fire service to help them remove flood water: 01452 729340

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