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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Michael Pike of Seascale: ‘He died a contented man and we are proud of him’

A MUCH-loved husband, father and grandfather-of-three, Michael Pike was thoroughly enjoying his retirement when it was abruptly cut short by gunman Derrick Bird.

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Michael Pike

A former Sellafield worker and trade unionist, Mr Pike, 64, of Wasdale Park, Seascale, was out enjoying his morning bicycle ride on Drigg Road when he was shot dead.

His family said: “He was a kind, brave and generous person who achieved much more than he expected in his life. In his retirement he was happier than at any time before.

“He died a contented man and we are proud of him.”

Mr Pike, who lived with his wife Sheena in Seascale, loved western Lakeland and spent a lot of time walking and cycling the area.

His son Jason, 39, added: “It came completely out of the blue to us, totally unexpected. To the best of our knowledge we think this was a random murder.”

A former shipbuilder in Liverpool, he moved to Cumbria around 40 years ago and worked as a fitter and then a trainer at the Sellafield nuclear plant. A trade union organiser, he spent seven years studying for an Open University degree when he reached the age of 40.

Jason Pike described his father as “a much-loved husband, father and grandfather’’ who had been “a happy man at the time he died and satisfied with the things he achieved’’.

Mr Pike’s daughter, Jude Talbot, of Slough, told BBC Radio 4 that it was about 4pm when she had known for certain that her father was among those killed.

She said Mr Pike had doted on his three grandchildren and that his family was set on celebrating his life as that is what he would have wished.

“That’s the sort of person he was. He was a humanist, he thoroughly believed that we should celebrate life, not rake over coals.

“So that’s what we are doing. We are focusing on my father and the happy times we had with him.’’

She said her mother’s neighbours had been amazing.

“That is what it’s like in Seascale, a wonderful community.’’

Mr Pike’s funeral will take place at Distington Hall Crematorim on Monday, June 14, at 2pm. Family flowers only but donations, can be made to the Great North Air Ambulance.

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