top of page


WOW! It's a small world...
It all started with a silly joke... but turned into something wonderful!

  I was bored and decided to send this e mail...


From: Brian Abram
Sent: 28 February 2018 13:01
To: Products Department - Mountain Equipment

Subject: Winter jacket




Dear sirs,


I want to complain in the strongest possible terms about a Mountain Equipment winter jacket that I own.


My daughter went out in the snow today wearing my jacket (it doesn’t fit me any more for some reason) and she said that it only kept her ‘warm’  This is disappointing for a jacket that I am sure used to keep me ‘hot’ in similar weather.  AND the zip is broken!


I purchased this jacket from you in 1976 and I am sorry to say it is now starting to show signs of wear and not dong it’s job properly.


Please see attached photos of me wearing said jacket from 1979 (black and white) and 1986, my wife wearing it in 2013 and my daughter from yesterday (she’s the little girl in red on the 80’s photo).


Frankly I am disappointed that your products do not last longer and would ask that you consider replacing this old jacket with a more modern one.


I await your reply before approaching Watchdog or another consumer programme.


Yours faithfully,

Brian Abram

ME in ME 1979.jpg
Linda in ME.jpg
Old me in ME.jpg
Vic in ME.jpg

Of course, I never expected a reply.  But what they wrote back took my breath away!


From: Fran Slatter  
Sent: 12 March 2018 16:27
Subject: Re: Winter jacket


Hi Brian,


Thank you for contacting Mountain Equipment. Your message was forwarded to me by our product enquiry team and made all of us smile here in the office.


To learn a bit more about you I clicked through onto your webpage.  I noticed that you’re not local to Glossop, but there was a link to an article from the Glossop Chronicle about your terrible accident.  By a strange coincidence my house is just by where you had your accident and I remember hearing the commotion that morning. I always wondered what happened to the cyclist involved in that accident and I’m delighted to hear that the outcome was not worse.


We would like to thank you for the feedback about your jacket. We love to see photos of our gear in use and it’s great to see that, even after 40 years, your jacket is still looking great. However, we are concerned that it isn’t as warm as it used to be... under normal circumstances we would advise taking it back to the retailer from which it was purchased, but really you would need proof of purchase. We hope you kept the receipt! However, in this case we may be lenient. If you like, we would be happy to replace your jacket (or indeed let you keep your current one and get another) with something of similar performance to the original or, if you would like, we could make you some custom kit for use in your wheel chair which we can do at our premises in Hyde. If you’d be keen for a new jacket then let us know, but if you’d like anything in particular for use in the wheel chair then any suggestions on what you would like would be very welcome. Please let us know your thoughts.


We look forward to hearing from you.


Thanks and best regards,

Fran Slatter


Mountain Equipment

What an amazing coincidence... and a very kind offer!

Then something else happened.  I got this incredible message from a stranger...


Hi Brian,

Just been sent your blog details by a friend in Broadbottom. I am the lady who called for help when you had your accident. It is wonderful to hear that you are doing so well. I did fear the worst.

I lived in Broadbottom until 2 years ago and thought about you every time I walked past that spot.
This is what I remember from that day.

I went out for a walk with my dog Oscar, as usual. I always do a big loop on a Sunday as a teat for me rather than the dog. So I headed off down towards the single road bridge towards Glossop.
Before I turned down the mill road into Lymefield I heard a woman shouting. I ran to see if I could help. This older lady was shouting help and pointing across the river towards the bank near the church. I saw you on the edge of the river but in the water not moving. You were groaning and your bike was on the bank.

I kicked off my sandals and ran towards the campsite. 2 men were coming out of the gate, I told them to ring 999 and come to help me. We ran back to the river. The older man calmed the lady who shouted for help. I and the other man waded across the river. He asked me what he should do I told him we mustn’t move you (as a PE teacher I am first aid trained and he was only a young man), so we kept you still and held your head out of the water as you were lying in a way that meant you would have drowned with water flowing into your nose and mouth.


My dog had swum across the river too and was getting agitated and barking. I took him back across the river to stop it as it was upsetting you. I said I would go to guide the emergency services down to where we were. As it was Sunday morning there were still no other people around.

The fire brigade was first there and wouldn’t let me go back across the river to see you. They proceeded to rope across the river and rescue you. I carried on walking my dog, as there was nothing else I could do. People who know me in the village told me I should contact you as local people knew it was me but by the time the police and press got hold of the story, it was only the campsite visitors who were around.

Joy Derbyshire

And the next part of this incredible story... thanks to BBC1’s The One Show I was able to meet up with my Guardian Angel Joy and thank her in person for helping to save my life!


BUT this wasn't the end of the story... see the update below and what was another AMAZING coincidence!

Screenshot 2022-06-28 at 15.12.03.png
Screenshot 2022-06-28 at 15.13.00.png
My repaired jacket has a few more years life left in it ... maybe Charles would like it when he's bigger? 
UPDATE July 2022... yet another AMAZING coincidence!!

On the 22nd JUly 2022, I was contacted by a lady who gave me some astounding news. As you will see from this website, I do school visits across the north of England.  There are almost 5,000 primary schools in this area. So far I have done more than 140 school visits - so that's less than 2% of those I could visit. On the 4th July 2022, I visited Gorse Covert Primary School in Warrington.  The school wrote to parents asking if anyone wanted to order one of my books in advance of my visit.

Not every parent requested one, but one little girl called Emily went home with a signed book, ordered by her dad Stephen. 
When she got home she described how this man in a wheelchair had come into school to do an assembly and how he had talked about what happened to him. 

As she told the tale, Stephen realised... HE WAS THE MAN WHO, SAVED MY LIFE BY HOLDING MY HEAD OUT OF THE WATER!!

The chance of my being in that school and for that little girl to get a book must be ridiculously small.  But it happened.

So, there we have it.  Almost 10 yrs after the event, I finally know the complete story of how, despite multiple horrific injuries, I came to survive what happened to me on that day - 4th August 2013. 

I owe my life to these two people - Joy and Stephen.  And they came into my life again thanks to the most bizarre coincidences.  It is almost as though someone wanted this to happen.

Just WOW! 

Stephen and I were interviewed about this on BBC Breakfast in December 2022 - click the link below to watch!

And the last wonderful piece in the jigsaw?  Making Joy and Stephen characters in my latest book!  How could I not? 
Front cover final.png
Stephen and Joy.jpg
Let's let Emily have the final word in this touching little video!
bottom of page