On Sunday 26 May 2019, my dad - Stan Headley - had been out doing what he loves best, fishing with his dog. After a long day, he drove home to Wormit to find two fire engines and a burnt-out shell where his cottage used to be. A fire had taken hold in the afternoon and it had taken over two hours for fire crews to control the blaze.
Apart from the fishing gear he had with him that day and some clothes that were salvaged from a wardrobe, he has lost everything. At 68, this is a daunting prospect.
Unfortunately, my dad didn't have contents insurance for the house that he rented, having previously had a disappointing experience trying to replace lost possessions in Orkney about twenty years ago. As a leading writer in fly fishing, some of his most valued items - his books and 40 years of accumulated fly-tying materials - would be difficult to be understood by an insurance claims handler.
While it has been a harrowing few days, my dad has been truly overwhelmed by the messages of support and generous offers of assistance he has received from far and wide. As much as he wishes he didn't need to accept these offers, some money to help him get back on his feet would make an incredible difference in the months ahead.
If rather than money, you are able to donate any fly fishing or fly-tying reference books and/or fly-tying materials and equipment, these would be equally appreciated. Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for a postal address.
To anyone who knows my dad, you won't be surprised to hear that he is responding to these events with wry humour and a good dose of philosophy. And he would just like to thank, in advance, anyone who contributes to this appeal.