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THURSDAY, 5th JANUARY, 2012.
Care chief hits back
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What’s on... What’s gone...
Trouble free Xmas
Remembering happy times with Madelena
By Kayleigh Williams People have been paying tribute to an 84-year-old woman whose body was found a week after she went
MadelenaWhittaker, (84), from Congleton, was reported missing on Christmas Eve.
And search teams who spent the Christmas period looking for Madelena Whittaker, ofBoundaryLane, Congleton, have praised the community for supporting the search efforts.
One friend has recalled happy times with the hard of hearing German woman who many recognised because she went walking regularly to look for firewood.
Mrs Whittaker’s body was found by amemberof the public on Friday morning on farmland off Biddulph Road, Congleton.
She was last seen in the town centre a week before.
A search was launched on Christmas Eve involving police, Cheshire Search and Rescue and other search teams from as far as
Police appealed for walkers and joggers to help in the search as Mrs Whittaker was understood to have regularly looked for wood in the Congleton Valley, Timbersbrook and Little Chapel areas. Search and rescue dogs were also taken up The Cloud.
Her body was found outside the search area.
A post mortem examination was due to have taken place yesterday (Wednesday).
Police said her body was found in a rural location approximately a mile from her home, on private farmland and that the death is not being treated as suspicious.
On Tuesday Cheshire Search and Rescue team leader Joanne McClure, said news of Mrs Whittaker’s death “hit everyone hard”.
“The members of Cheshire Search and Rescue Team worked so hard to find Madelena and especially so over the festive period.
“She was located outside of our search area but never the less the news hit everyone hard.
“We are continually grateful to the residents in Congleton for all their hard work ensuring that every household knew about Madelena’s disappearance with leaflets and posters were put up around the town and the surrounding areas.
“This was amazing to see and the community came together.
“The team members are back training this evening (Tuesday) after a busy Christmas period and as their team leader, I am extremely proud of the dedication and commitment and also their selflessness to locate Madelena over this Christmas period.
“I’d like to extend my thanks to the community of Congleton, as well as editors and photographers from Congleton “Chronicle” who have worked so hard, but our thoughts and prayers are with Madelena’s family and friends.”
She added: “I had the greatest honour meeting her daughter-in-law and having time to speak to her. Whilst I never caught her name, the time we had together as I listened to her memories will stay with me for a long, long time. Her mother was truly amazing. Everyone should be proud of their efforts, a true wartime spirit.”
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The Olympic year got off to a brilliant start on Monday when a group of runners raced 60 miles to Congleton to bring the town a message from Olympic guru Lord Coe. Running the home stretch was Congleton’s own Olympic gold medallist Ann Brightwell. She handed the baton to Town Crier Doug Parker who read out Lord Coe’s message. For more pictures and the story, turn to page 26. (“Chronicle” photo. 101b/12).
Congleton RAF man Dean awarded MBE
An ecstatic Congleton couple said they were “ almost jumping on the bed” when they heard their son was on the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
Master Aircrewman Dean “Pen” Penlington, who was raised in Congleton, was made an MBE on Saturday in recognition of 30 years’ service to the RAF.
shock to him. He knew before Christmas but he wasn’t allowed to say. He’d been dying to tell me. He’d phoned up a few days earlier to wish us a merry Christmas and all the rest of it but he didn’t say anything about the MBE then.”
Mr Penlington was based at RAF Kinloss, in Moray, north east Scotland, until last year when he moved to the US Naval Ai Station Oceanna, Virginia Beach, US.
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Ernest and Yvonne Penlington, (73 and 82), of Solly Crescent, Congleton, said they were “elated” to hear he had been honoured.
Mr Penlington, (50), spent his formative years as a member of 230 Congleton Squadron Air Training Corps, based in Rope Walk. He attended high school and college in Macclesfield, and is still a member of the Congleton branch of the Royal British Legion.
His mother said: “Well, I never thought he’d get anything like that! He phoned up at quarter to eight in the morning on New Year’s Eve and I thought something was wrong. He’s five hours behind us but I suspect he was waiting to call us, he couldn’t contain himself.
“I said: ‘What are you phoning for?’ and he said ‘I’ve been awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours List’. I said ‘You’ve done what?!’”
The mother-of-three said her husband was lying in bed when she took the call, saying: “I was waving the phone at him and he had to put his hearing aid in! We were almost jumping on the bed! We’re very proud, but we’re proud of all our children.”
She added: “It was a complete
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