Thursday, 11 August 2022

My mother was meant to be on German disaster flight

IF it is possible for any good to come out of the Germanwings aircraft crash last

IF it is possible for any good to come out of the Germanwings aircraft crash last month, then perhaps this is it.

It involves former Henley pub landlady Dawn Kirby, who was very nearly on the Airbus A320 flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf that crashed in the French Alps on March 24, killing all 150 people on board.

The disaster was caused deliberately by co–pilot Andreas Lubitz who is reported to have been treated for “suicidal tendencies”.

Dawn, who used to run the Three Horseshoes pub in Reading Road but now lives and works in Spain, was booked on the flight but rearranged her plans to attend a business meeting in Dusseldorf that week.

Her daughter, town councillor Kellie Hinton, was preparing for a council meeting that day when she received a call from her mother.

She says: “She phoned me and said she was in shock and felt very lucky – even more so when the reports came in that 16 schoolchildren had lost their lives and that the plane had been descending for eight minutes. It made you think, ‘oh my god, my mum could have been involved’. She flies all over the world with her job in wealth management, so I might not have known if she was on it.

“Things like this remind you not to sweat the small stuff. It was on the Tuesday of full council and there was a lot going on in that meeting but the council chamber was the last thing on my mind.”

Meanwhile, another current Henley pub landlady has just released a new book about overcoming depression, anxiety and anger.

Pamela Myles, 49, runs the Old Bell in Bell Street with her partner Rob Hooton.

But she also works at the University of Reading, where she is director of training at the Charlie Waller Institute of Evidence–Based Psychological Treatment.

She has co–written The CBT Handbook with a university colleague, Professor Roz Shafran.

She says: “A lot of books are for single problems but this one is more general because we know lots of people have more than one problem. This means that it covers quite a wide area. The way we have written it is to be as accessible as possible but without being patronising.

“Hopefully, it will appeal to a wide range of readers.”

Pamela says that cases such as that of 27–year–old Lubitz are rare.

“People have jumped on the fact that he had depression but it doesn’t help people or the mental health agenda with some of the coverage there has been,” she says.

She points out that many people suffer common mental health problems but that doesn’t mean they aren’t functioning well.

“People get wary of those who have depression and there’s no reason to be,” she adds.

So can she also explain her own unusual combination of careers?

“Yes,” says Pamela. “As well as mental health being an enormous passion of mine, an equal passion is making fish pies and lemon meringue pie for the pub weekend lunches.”

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