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Sad farewell to South Shields mum killed in train crash

The funeral of Joan Nichols at St Bede's RC Church.
The funeral of Joan Nichols at St Bede's RC Church.

Dozens of mourners turned out to pay their last respects to a popular grandmother who was killed in a train accident in India.

Family and friends of Joan Nichols gathered for a service at St Bede’s Church, in Westoe Road, South Shields, yesterday, before her cremation at town’s crematorium.

Joan Nichols, who died when a tourist train crashed in India.

Joan Nichols, who died when a tourist train crashed in India.

The 71-year–old from Redwell Grove, Marsden, South Shields, died on September 12, when the tourist train she and her husband John, 72, were travelling on between Kalka and Shimla, came off the tracks.

Her two daughters and son flew out to India to be with their father, who also suffered a knee injury during the accident.

As the hearse pulled up outside the church, a number of floral tributes from family members could be seen inside.

Mrs Nichols worked as a dinner lady in the town before devoting much of her time to volunteer work in her retirement.

Over the last 10 years, Mrs Nichols helped out at the Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) in Beach Road, South Shields, and Trinity House Social Centre in Laygate.

Last week, the gran-of-five’s niece Andrea Davison, 48, who lives next door, paid tribute to her aunt.

She said: “My aunt was such a warm and loving person who just loved life and people loved to be around her. She was the linchpin of our family and we’re all in shock that this has happened. We adored her.”

After the service, a collection was held the for the charity Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The couple were travelling on a four-carriage tourist service chartered by York-based Great Rail Journeys.

The tour, India’s Golden Triangle, left for India on September 10 and was due to finish on September 22.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation.