SLUGS Newsletter – June 2001

This is an intermediate newsletter because of the rapidly changing countryside access situation. No address list as there’s only one change since last time: Nick Airey and Luz Hernández and family have now moved to a house; their new address is:

La Rotiella, 2

33180 Noreña

Asturias, Spain

Subscriptions are now due for 2001 - £5 for families, £3 for individuals. Please send cash or cheques (made payable to P. Johnstone since SLUGS doesn’t have its own bank account). 48 Rydal Road, Lancaster, LA1 3HA, UK.

The Tresviso 2000 website continues to grow at <www.tresviso2000.free4all.co.uk>. Send your pics (scanned or prints), stories, poems etc. to Sue and George. They would like particularly pictures of villagers (Tresviso & Sotres) and a good group photo.

This newsletter can also be accessed via the SLUGS website at <http://www.ednet.lancs.ac.uk/luss/Slugs/Newsletters/ index.html>. There’s also a collection of pics from old expeditions - if you have more that are suitable, send them to Ian Edmondson.

Events

Meg and Pete have kindly come up with a few events for the summer, now that some access restrictions have been lifted. We need more events for autumn and winter!

June 30–July 1 – South Lakes. Camping at Low Wray, on the shores of Windermere, Grid Ref 371014. Re-visit the Lake District now that the fells are opening up again. Contact Meg & Pete Owens, 01925 263507.

July 21–22 – Watersports at Lake Bala. Camping at the main campsite, Glanllyn, at the south of the lake off A494, grid ref 891323. (Note this is not the site we've gone to in the past.... this one has toilets!). Bring or hire canoes, windsurfers, water wings etc. Also good cycling so fit those bikes in too. Contact Meg & Pete Owens, 01925 263507.

August 24–27Bank Holiday in the Trossachs. Camping at Strathyre campsite off A84, 6 miles north of Callander, grid ref 559162. Lots of great family cycling on cycle tracks, Lots of local walks – Stob Binnien, Ben Vorlich, Ben Ledi, Ben An. Steamer trips on Loch Katrine. Who knows, could be lots of sun and no midges! Contact Meg & Pete Owens 01925 263507.

September 14–16. Buttermere, Lakes. The Coach House FRCC hut in Buttermere (NY 185161) is booked; contact Ken and Anne if you want to go.

Plans are afoot for a SLUGS dinner in late September/October (or later), if we can find a suitable venue (Swaledale is too far for many people). Contact Sue I’Anson if you’re interested or can suggest somewhere.

E-mail:

I’m trying to get as many Slugs’ e-mail addresses as possible - it cuts down on the mailing costs and delays in receiving the newsletter. So let me know if you’re on e-mail. Phil Johnstone, 48 Rydal Road, Lancaster, LA1 3HA. 01524 37688. E-mail: phil@enotsnhoj.freeserve.co.uk

Angus:

The results of the post-mortem on Angus have finally been released. He died from sporadic CJD, a type of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which is not the New Variant transmitted by eating contaminated beef. CJD is one of a rare group of fatal diseases which invade the brain through an agent known as a prion. The cause of sporadic CJD is unknown, but there may be a genetic component which is triggered by exposure to certain chemicals. It affects mainly the over-50s and is marked by rapid onset of dementia followed by neurological symptoms such as unsteadiness and jerky movements. There is no treatment.

Overleaf is the text of an article which appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post.

Lancashire Evening Post, Friday June 8 2001

Doomed CJD victim thought he had disease

By Judith Dornan

A SCIENTIST who was found to have died of CJD told relatives before he went into hospital that he suspected he had the killer disease.

Although William Wood, 63, an industrial. chemist, of Rose Cottage, Nether Kellet, Carnforth, voiced his fears, his condition was not officially diagnosed until after his death on January 19.

The former Lancaster University lecturer did not have the new variant form of the disease which has been associated with eating infected beef, a post mortem found.

But he had a genetic predisposition to developing the rogue protein in the brain which led to sporadic Creutzfeld Jacob Disease, a rare condition affecting one per million people worldwide.

He developed problems including a loss of balance in September which led to him being admitted to the Lancaster Royal Infirmary in October.

But a scan found nothing, although doctors told Mr Wood's family that he seemed to have had a series of mini- strokes.

An ECG scan in November at Preston did pick up a problem but his condition worsened and he died.

Clever

His sister, Joyce Cook, of Bridge Road, Carnforth, said: "Angus did say to me before he went into hospital that he hoped he hadn't got CJD.

"Angus was very bright, very practical and very clever. We miss him a lot."

"We weren't surprised this morning because we knew. We saw him in hospital and then we saw pictures of CJD victims on TV and it was the same."

When the family heard the news at Mr Wood’s inquest in Preston, they told officials they had almost been expecting the news. Mrs Cook told the hearing: "We are not surprised. It was the way in which he became ill and the symptoms he had. It was the loss of balance and also people were asking us if it could be CJD. Angus was a scientist and a lot of his friends were scientists so it isn't a surprise.

"My brother hadn't been very well over a. period of time, but he was a bache1or and he rea1ly only told you when he felt you really needed to know.

"So when he said he felt ill, we knew there must be something quite wrong. It would have been a shock if we hadn't suspected it but we did."

Dr Tim Dawson, who performed the post mortem, said: "He had sporadic CJD. This should be clearly differentiated from new variant CJD. The variant form is thought to come just through the gut from eating infected beef but this form is different."

At the Preston inquest Coroner Howard McCann recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.