By Andy Hirst, Special Correspondent
Neil Booth’s life changed the moment he suffered a severe stroke that left him feeling like a baby unable to eat or walk.
Neil was just 42 and running his own butcher’s shop in Golcar when he suddenly fell ill while at Holmfirth Cattle Market in 2004.
He ended up being rushed to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and transferred to Leeds General Infirmary where it was discovered he had suffered a severe stroke.
It robbed him of everything – his health, his business and his home – but Neil has battled back from the brink and now runs car boot sales every Sunday to raise money for the Stroke Association.
Outlane Car Boot Sale is held just off the A640 New Hey Road and next to the M62 between Outlane and Scammonden and is proving very popular with hundreds visiting each Sunday. The field’s postcode is HD3 3FW and the sale’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/outlanecarboot/) gives up-to-date information if the weather turns poor and it has to be cancelled.
Neil, now 58 and living in Golcar, said: “The car boot sale is fair taking off and I think so many people are attending because there are few car boot sales in Huddersfield these days. It’s in a great setting in a couple of fields with one for the car boot sale and the other for parking and is very easy to find with views for miles. When I arrive first thing in the morning people are often queuing to get in.”
The fields have been donated by well-known Outlane farmer and milkman Carl Pogson and Neil is helped by friends and volunteers.
The car boot sales are held every Sunday depending on the weather with traders allowed in from 6.30am onwards and the general public from 8am. It usually ends by early afternoon and is £10 per pitch. There are normally around 70 cars with up to 300 people attending.
Neil was lucky to survive his stroke.
He said: “I couldn’t walk or eat at first – it was being like a baby again. It took everything from me – my butcher’s shop and the bungalow I loved. It broke my heart to leave it. I simply couldn’t afford to live there anymore.”
Neil’s butchery business was started in 1952 on James Street in Golcar by his parents, Stuart and Rita. Stuart handed the business over to Neil when he retired in 1998 and died in 2014. Neil lost his mum in 1993 aged just 56.
Neil had no warning about his stroke. He had gone to Holmfirth Cattle Market looking for meat for his shop when he suddenly felt weird.
“I was conscious throughout it at first,” he said. “I was watching the cattle and then felt myself lean over to one side, had no strength in my legs and couldn’t swallow.”
He eventually lost consciousness in the ambulance and woke to see family and friends at his bedside.
After a week-long spell at Leeds General Infirmary he was transferred back to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for two months with a further month’s rehabilitation at the Barton Unit for stroke patients at the former St Luke’s Hospital in Crosland Moor.
Neil had been a member of Golcar Winkle Club in the 1980s and early 1990s and they helped him to adapt his bungalow with a ramp and grab rails until he eventually had to leave his home and move elsewhere in Golcar.
* Written by former Huddersfield Examiner Head of Content ANDY HIRST who now runs his own Huddersfield-based agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting for business in Yorkshire and across the UK.