Former Reporter photographer dies in his sleep

Former Reporter photographer Dennis Bradbury
Former Reporter photographer Dennis Bradbury

THE heartbroken wife of a former St Helens Reporter photographer has told how his shock death has left “a big hole in our lives”.

Carole Bradbury’s beloved husband Dennis passed away at his home in Blackbrook last Saturday morning (March 19) after suffering a heart problem in his sleep. He was just 57.

The father-of-two, who was offered an apprenticeship at the Reporter’s old College Street base back in the 1970s, went on to work as a photographer for the paper for 13 years.

He moved to work for the Ormskirk Advertiser in the mid 1980s but, as Carole, 54, pointed out “he was a St Helens man through and through”.

She said: “Dennis had a very dry sense of humour and was laughing and joking with me on the night before he died. We went to bed and he kissed me goodnight but, the following morning, he didn’t wake up. He had just slipped away.

“He hadn’t been ill and was a very fit man so I never expected to lose him at such a young age. Apparently he had high blood pressure, but we never knew.

“He had only retired from work just over a year ago and we were looking forward to marking our 30th wedding anniversary next month. His death has left a big hole in our lives.”

Carole described Dennis, an ex West Park Grammar and St Helens College pupil, as a big family man who doted on his 93-year-old mother, Annie, and sons Steven, 28, and James, 21.

Dennis and Carole first started dating when he was working for the Reporter and Carole told how he “really enjoyed” working for the paper, meeting so many different people and covering Saints.

She added: “He loved it when Saints went down to Wembley and he was able to pick people out in the crowd. That was the best bit for him - meeting and getting to know such a wide variety of people. He never wanted to do any other job.

“Outside of work he was a real family man. His family always came first. He always looked after his mother and was a devoted father - he loved going fishing with the boys. He wasn’t an outgoing man but it’s amazing how many people have sent cards. He will be deeply missed.”

Dennis Bradbury’s funeral service was held at St Helens Crematorium on Monday (March 28).