Son speaks of 'devastating' loss after losing his mum in Northamptonshire crash as she was travelling to Mother's Day lunch

Ian McClements
Ian McClements

The son of a Northamptonshire woman who tragically lost her life while she was on the way to Mother's Day lunch has said "she was clearly taken to soon."

Shirley McClements, 60, from Nether Heyford, was involved in an incident outside Jacks Hill Café on the A5 north of Towcester on Sunday, March 26.

Following her death, her eldest son, Ian has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for children and young adults in care, as Shirley was brought up in the care system. All donations will be given to Action For Children and the NSPCC.

He said: "Through her upbringing, she had a knack for connecting with children.

"We came home from school and would find another person at the dinner table. My brother's friends would knock on the door and when he wasn’t in they ended up having a BBQ with mum. They didn’t come from broken homes or had major issues but they might have had a fallout or an argument and needed someone to talk to.

"Some people came in and stayed with us for a dinner or a weekend and some people came in a stayed in the garage for six months.

Shirley McClements

Shirley McClements

"To us, she was just 'mum', but clearly to a lot of people she was a bit special and we took her for granted a bit. She was a great mum and grandmother."

Shirley was on her way to Mother's Day lunch at about 12.30pm where she was to eat at the house of another of her sons, Jonny, along with her two granddaughters - one of whom was born on the Wednesday before she passed away.

After an hour-and-a-half had passed, Shirley's younger son Jonny took to Facebook and saw there had been an accident and called Ian to see if she had been in contact.

"When my brother said she hadn’t turned up and time went on longer, I started thinking, okay, this doesn’t seem right," he added. "Everyone tried ringing her but she wasn’t answering her phone."

"I sat with my girlfriend and I started ringing hospitals. I rang Northampton A&E and they said nobody with that name had been brought in. They said maybe you should try Coventry. At this point, I knew there had been an accident locally and if there was a detour around the accident she would have arrived at Jonny’s."

"The first couple of days you are in shock and you wake up in the mornings and those first few seconds you don’t remember but then, of course, it washes back over you. Then it changes from shock to, 'right, we need to honour mum'.

Shirley found herself helping out at a local church as well as at summer camps and Scouts groups when the children were young.

Ian and his three siblings will host an open funeral service in Blisworth on a date yet to be decided.

The family will move onto a private cremation before a final celebration of her life in Cogenhoe, where she took part in Rock and Roll dance classes.

"She was clearly taken to soon. For the family, it's devastating - she’s here one day and gone the next but she didn’t suffer.

"It’s been a tough week, but we're a close family and the messages really help.

"She was always up to something with the grandchildren, it’s going to be hard but there are lots of memories to share."

To donate: www.gofundme.com/shirley-whirley-memorial