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Stress at work led to ‘gentle giant’s’ death
5:49pm Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in News
A GREENMOUNT family have paid tribute to their ‘gentle giant’ who took his own life after experiencing stress at work.
Stanley Waddell, aged 27, had been living in Birmingham when he climbed over a fence and into the path of a train at Robin Hood Island in Yardley, on October 29.
His father Alistair, aged 58, chairman of the Greenmount Village Comm-unity Group, told how Stanley, who was 6ft 6in tall, was an engineer working on the innovative Airbus A350 project, and had concerns about the safety of the plane.
Stanley was due to attend a work conference in Cambridge, but travelled back to Birmingham to raise his concerns with managers.
Alistair said: “He was always in touch on the phone, and after 9pm that night we received no more communication from him.
“The next thing we knew was the British Transport Police were at the front door to ask for fingerprint evidence because they had reason to believe he had been involved in an incident with a train.
“He was dealing with a lot of stress at work but he only seemed to show the difficulties in those last six hours.”
Stanley was a talented engineer, and after achie-ving a 2:1 degree from Aston University, he worked at several firms, including Goodrich Power Systems, now owned by UTC Aerospace Systems, on the A350 XWB Airbus project.
The plane is the first with fuselage and wing structures made of carbon fibre, and Stanley worked on the design of an innovative electronic thrust reverser, which allows the aircraft to brake on landing.
Mum Joan, aged 60, a teaching examiner, said: “All of his friends who spoke to him said he offered them great advice and gave them the confidence to pursue their goals, but all that time he doubted his own abilities.”
The family later travelled to the scene in Birmingham, taking with them a number of flowers they had received from well-wishers in Greenmount.
They have been flooded with tributes from friends and family, honouring a ‘generous and humble’ man.
Stanley, who has a brother Russell, aged 24, studied at Greenmount Primary Sch-ool, before moving to Canon Slade High School, where he continued on to the sixth form to complete his A Levels.
He displayed a strong interest in the sciences, and followed in his parents’ footsteps, after his mother completed a physics degree at Birmingham University and his father studied engineering at Aston University.
Outside of his work and academic life, Stanley had a strong passion for sport, playing tennis, competing in mountain biking, as well as roller hockey, cricket and basketball.
The family moved around due to work commitments, and Stanley was born in Derby in February, 1986, but the family settled in Chisholme Close, Green-mount, when he was two years old.
He amassed a large group of friends during his time in university in Birmingham, through spells working in Tring, Watford and Birmingham, as well as friends in Bury, and hundreds of people attended his funeral on Saturday.
The funeral, which took place at the United Reformed Church in Green-mount, was also shown simultaneously in the Old School to ensure everyone could be part of the service.
Stanley’s family are encouraging donations to the British Red Cross and the Mental Health Found-ation.
They can be made at www.justgiving.com/Joan-Alistair-Waddell and www.
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