A teacher whose husband died suddenly has completed a project in his memory.

Joanna Carrington, from Steyning, lost her husband David on December 11, 2022, which was exactly 47 years to the day they first met.

While David was struggling with illness that year, he became reluctant to go out.  

“The summer before David died, he was having panic attacks and difficulty breathing,” said 65-year-old Joanna.

“He became reluctant to go out, which wasn't really like him.”

David went to the doctor about something else and his GP referred him to St Barnabas House hospice, in Titnore Lane, Worthing, for counselling.

While he was there, he met Stevan Stratford, the artist in residence at the hospice and they came up with the idea for a project.

“Our home is in Steyning, and the river runs behind the house,” Joanna said.

“We often used to walk and ride along the Downs Link path, which runs along two disused railway lines and features several bridges. David decided to photograph them and then create artwork from the photographs. He threw himself into the research, which focused his mind and formed a nice distraction.”

When David died suddenly without being able to finish his project, Joanna decided to complete it in his memory.

Joanna said: “Just before he died, one of my pupils gave me a decoration with a message burnt into the wood. That gave David the idea to challenge his friends and family to cycle from Henfield to Shoreham, taking pictures of all nine bridges on the way. At the end, we would present them with a wooden medal.

“The event was in October, on the most lovely day – beautiful sunshine after horrible rain for days on either side, so we felt David had some input there. We had about 50 people taking part, and everyone was smiling and happy – I think David would have been proud.

Donations from friends and family meant the event raised £822 for St Barnabas House.

Joanna said: “But since being ill, David lost a bit of his energy and he couldn't do so much. The art project took his mind off what was going on.”