Cosham comes to a standstill as shoppers and traders pay tribute to gran, 85, killed in crash

SHOPPERS and traders lined the streets to pay a final farewell to a beloved great-grandmother a month after she died in a tragic collision.

People lined the route in High Street as the funeral cortege of Doreen Colwell passed by. Photo: Tom Cotterill
People lined the route in High Street as the funeral cortege of Doreen Colwell passed by. Photo: Tom Cotterill

Doreen Colwell, 85, of Lower Drayton Lane, Drayton, was fatally wounded when she was hit by a white Nissan van at a zebra crossing in Vectis Way, Cosham, on October 7.

Today, dozens of people lined High Street – close to where the ‘happy and positive’ pensioner lost her life – to watch as her funeral cortege moved slowly through the town centre.

Lone bagpiper Caroline Henton performed a haunting rendition of ‘Going Home’ while onlookers broke out into applause as the hearse carrying Mrs Colwell’s casket passed.

The funeral cortege of Doreen Colwell, 85, passes through High Street, Cosham, as musician Caroline Henton, 57, plays the bagpipes

Among those out in tribute were some of the shopkeepers who had rushed to Mrs Colwell’s aid after she was run over.

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Tony Broome, owner of the Shoefix store, helped organise the send-off having been part of the team of Good Samaritans who had tried to save the pensioner weeks earlier.

The 58-year-old businessman said: ‘It was such a shocking event. It will be something that will stay with us for many years.

Doreen Colwell, right, died in a fatal crash in Vectis Way, Cosham, where flowers have been left paying tribute to her

‘Her death impacted a lot of us. The mood in the High Street was down for two weeks after it happened.

‘It was lovely to see so many people come out to pay their respects today. It was a nice fitting send off for what was obviously a very well-loved lady.’

Mrs Colwell’s funeral took place at Portchester Crematorium.

Before she died, the 85-year-old had been getting ready to go on a holiday to the Canary Islands with her sons next year.

Doreen Colwell's casket as it passed through Cosham

It was a destination that musician Caroline Henton was on holiday at when the tragedy occurred.

The 57-year-old, of Albert Road, Cosham, did not know Mrs Colwell but said she felt compelled to do something after hearing about her death.

Speaking to The News, she said: ‘Today was incredibly emotional. I just wanted to do what I could to support everybody in the community.

Tony Broome, 58, owner of Shoefix in Cosham, helped to stage the town centre's tribute. Photo: Tom Cotterill

‘Everyone was so saddened by it all and traumatised. It really was awful.’

Mrs Colwell was pronounced dead after being taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Her loved ones described her as a caring family woman who was ‘always happy to stop and chat to passers-by’ on her daily visits to Sainsbury’s, in Cosham.

In a police-issued statement, her family said: ‘Doreen loved her family, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.

‘She always joked with everyone that she was 99 (and three quarters) on her next birthday.

‘She cared a lot about her friends and had time for everyone.

The funeral cortege of Doreen Colwell, 85, passes through High Street, Cosham, as musician Caroline Henton, 57, plays the bagpipes

‘She was happy to stop and chat to passers-by on her daily visits to Sainsbury’s, her excuse to take regular exercise.

‘Doreen was a happy lady with a positive outlook and always commented on the kindness of strangers.

‘She had a bright future and was in a good place. She had planned to go on holiday next September with her sons to the Canary Islands. Life was good.’

:: A 61-year-old man from Cosham has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

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Tony Broome, 58, owner of Shoefix in Cosham, helped to stage the town centre's tribute. Photo: Tom Cotterill