Smoking campaigner visits Cowplain church

TALK Fiona Castle
TALK Fiona Castle
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SHE was one of the leading lights in getting smoking banned in public places.

But Fiona Castle, the wife of the late entertainer Roy Castle, who died from lung cancer in 1994, said banning smoking in cars would be a step too far.

Her comments came as she gave a talk about her life to a group at Cowplain Evangelical Church, in Durley Avenue.

The 73-year-old, who lives in Buckinghamshire, was a major figure in the smoking ban campaign, delivering a petition to Number 10 Downing Street.

Roy, perhaps best known as a long-running presenter on children’s television show Record Breakers, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1992 and blamed his illness on passive smoking during his years of playing the trumpet in smoky jazz clubs.

Fiona, a dancer, spoke affectionately of how it was ‘love at first sight’ after she was introduced to Roy through Eric Morecambe.

She told The News: ‘They said Roy’s form of cancer was only found in smokers, and of course he had never smoked.

‘We did a lot to raise the profile in the schools to raise awareness in young people not to get into the habit.’

Health groups and some ministers are currently campaigning to ban smoking in cars if children are passengers.

Fiona, a mum-of-four and grandmother-of-three, said: ‘I think it’s a bit too far – because how do you police it?

‘You’re smoking in the car and a policeman is chasing you – I don’t think he’s going to be that bothered or knock on your door.

‘It’s an invasion of privacy. How many people are still using their mobile phones and getting away with it?

‘I think information and education is far more important to make people aware.

‘If somebody has 20 cigarettes in a car or small space, the other people round in them in that small area are smoking virtually 17 of those cigarettes.’

She spoke of how she discovered God after hitting depression at the age of 35 as a worn-out mum.

The ‘Real Lives’ talks continue at the church this week, with comedians Cannon & Ball speaking on Saturday.

For details call (023) 9226 2188 or visit cowplainchurch.co.uk.