Tributes paid to "cheery" Shepton road sweeper
FRIENDS and family of town centre road sweeper Alan Loxton have paid tribute to his cheery attitude and helpful demeanour following his tragic early death.
The Shepton Mallet street cleaner died aged 63 on Tuesday, October 15, at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.
He was diagnosed with cancer last year and initially treated successfully. Unfortunately, the disease returned in a more aggressive form which was untreatable.
Mr Loxton was a respected member of the Shepton community having worked as the High Street’s road sweeper for ten years.
He was the second oldest of six children along with his twin sister. His siblings are Barry, Rita, Silvia, David and Michael.
David Loxton, Alan’s brother, said: “He absolutely loved his job, he loved meeting new people and being a member of the Shepton community.
“He will be greatly missed by all his friends and family.”
Julie Duncan, on behalf of everyone at Peppers Delicatessen and Wholefood Shop, said: “Alan always gave a cheery wave as he swept passed he shop. He will be sadly missed by everyone.”
Mr Loxton’s twin sister Rita is extremely upset at the loss of her brother.
The pair were very close and had planned to spend their retirement together, travelling across the county using their bus passes.
Mr Loxton worked at Snows Timber in Glastonbury, he was then employed by Shepton Mallet Town Council as a bin man before working the council as a road sweeper.
The Alford family, who run Shepton Cobblers on the High Street, said: “Alan will sadly be missed.
“He was a very good friend to our family, a very caring person and nothing was too much trouble for him – he went above and beyond the duties of his job to help people. Everyone loved him.”
In 2008 he was accosted by two youths, one of whom knocked over his barrow.
When Mr Loxton, then aged 57, remonstrated with them, the other punched him in the face, breaking his glasses, before they both fled.
They left him shocked with a black eye, a bleeding nose and bruising to his face.
Members of the community rallied round to support Mr Loxton and optician Christopher Young gave him a new pair of glasses – for free.
Mr Young said: “I am very sorry to hear that Alan has passed away at such a young age.
“We were very happy to support him with a free new pair of glasses following his assault in 2008, and he did a wonderful job keeping the streets of Shepton Mallet clean and tidy.”
David Loxton explained that his brother had never quite recovered after the attack as it had knocked his confidence.
The funeral will be held at noon on Tuesday 29 at Shepton Mallet Crematorium followed by drinks at Shepton Conservative Club at 12.30pm.
Those wishing to pay their respects are welcome to attend.