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Death of fund raiser and taxi driver

PUBLISHED: 14:46 13 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 07 July 2010

Retired Fakenham taxi driver Neville Platten, who helped raise thousands of pounds for the famous Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London, after its surgeons saved the life of his baby grandson, has died.

Retired Fakenham taxi driver Neville Platten, who helped raise thousands of pounds for the famous Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London, after its surgeons saved the life of his baby grandson, has died.

Mr Platten, 69, of Radcliffe Road, Fakenham, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, on April 6. He had been married to his wife, Elizabeth, for 45 years.

Mr Platten was well-known in Fakenham as the proprietor of Lavender Taxi Services which he ran with his wife,

He retired a few years ago after being involved in the business for 36 years. The business was started using a second-hand Morris Oxford saloon. He continued a part-time job collecting medical prescriptions from Boots at Fakenham and delivering them.

The couple have one son, Stuart, and when they became grandparents to Jamie they were involved in his care after it was discovered he had a life-threatening heart condition. He was treated at the famous Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital and was one of around 20 babies a year given heart transplants.

The Platten family launched an appeal to raise cash for the hospital as a way of thanking the medical staff for saving Jamie's life. Neville Platten had been very involved in helping to raise the impressive total.

Mrs Platten said that her husband collapsed with a chest infection and died suddenly, but peacefully, in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King's Lynn.

Through the taxi business, operated from their home, Mr Platten and his wife were well-known in the town and considered many of their customers to be friends.

“Neville would always have a friendly word . He was something of a perfectionist and would always strive to do everything right. I think one of the reasons why the taxi business was so successful was because he was always reliable and would never let any of his customers down,” she said.

The Platten family had been grateful for the support from townsfolk of their appeal which helped them raise over £10,000.

Mr Platten's funeral service will be at Fakenham Parish Church on Wednesday, April 22, at 3pm. Donations, in lieu of flowers, are invited for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity (GOSHCC).

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