Tributes to biker killed in collision

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a Morpeth business owner after he died in a road accident.

Graham Turnbull, who ran Autominster in Coopies Lane, was riding his motorbike when he was involved in a collision with a Mini Cooper at just after 10am, on Monday, on the B1337 at Longhirst.

He was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, where he was pronounced dead. The married 53-year-old lived in Kirkhill.

Among those who knew him for many years was John Beynon, former chairman of the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade.

“It was a huge shock to find out that he had died,” he said.

“It’s a terrible loss, in such tragic circumstances and I would like to pass on my condolences both personally and from the chamber.

“Graham was well known in Morpeth and a real character, who had a great affinity for the town.

“He was interested in the development of Morpeth in the town centre as well as Coopies Lane and although he had some forthright views, he always looked for the positives in a situation.

“He will be a big loss to the business community and the Morpeth community as a whole.”

Mr Turnbull worked as a mechanic and then manager when Autominster was run by Thomas McCarthy, who also owned White and McCarthy.

When Mr McCarthy retired, he passed on White and McCarthy to his son Jeff and he sold Autominster to Mr Turnbull.

Jeff said: “Graham was a great character and will be missed by many people in the town.

“On behalf of the McCarthy family, I would like to pass on our condolences to his family at this difficult time.”

Mr Turnbull was taking part in the Gary Routledge Ride when the accident happened.

The event was set up to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance and the motorcycle charity Riders for Health, which supports and maintains motorcycles and other vehicles that are essential for the provision of aid and medical services in some of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa.