CHORLEY MP Lindsay Hoyle has called for a new national children's hospital as a memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales, following her tragic death in a car crash at the weekend.

The Labour MP has written to Prime Minister Tony Blair with the suggestion for the development which would become an "everlasting memory" to the princess.

He said: "It would be fitting now to have a national children's hospital to be built in the name of Diana.

Mr Hoyle said: "Diana loved children and her work for and on behalf of the sick and afflicted earned her unparalleled respect around the world.

"What better way for the nation to show our love and respect than to build a new national children's hospital in her name."

He said it could be partly funded by the Government, but says public donations to a Princess Diana Hospital Fund might be considered to allow ordinary people to make a personal contribution to Diana's memorial.

Mr Hoyle added: "Obviously, personally it was a great shock to be told of the news.

"This is absolutely tragic, not just for the people of this country, but the world."

He said we had "lost a champion of causes," adding: "Diana was there to take up the causes of Aids, land mines and children as well. So much so that I believe it will take a long time to get over the shock of Sunday morning as there is darkness in everybody's life."

Mr Hoyle's father, former long serving MP and now Lord Hoyle, was on stand-by this week, uncertain whether he would be called upon as a Queen's Lord in Waiting to meet heads of state from abroad attending Saturday's funeral.

He said he fully backed his son's call for a national children's hospital. "What a jolly good idea, I will certainly support that," he commented."

Lord Hoyle, who lives in Adlington, said he met the princess in 1982 when she visited Warrington where he served as MP for many years.

He said: "I spoke to her when she was in Warrington and she was very refreshing and charming.

"She was very ordinary in the way she spoke to people and that's why I think she appeals to people who feel they can identify themselves with her."

"She did touch ordinary people and where she went she charmed them.

"I still, myself, have not got over the shock."

STAFF and patients at Derian House Children's Hospital feel a true affinity with the princess.

For the hospice received a letter from Kensington Palace confirming the "generous" donation from the Princess of Wales' Charities Trust earlier this year. Trevor Briggs, general manager of Derian House, said: "We did receive a donation for an undisclosed amount so we have benefited from her support most certainly. We made an application to the trust and she responded positively."

He added: "She worked quietly behind the scenes of many charities where her contribution was not high profile and Derian House was no exception to this.

"The hospice movement, both children and adult, will sadly miss her presence and genuine concern."

He said there was a feeling of great shock and sadness at the Hospice.

"We had ambitions for her to be involved in a prestigious event next year. Whether that would have come to fruition, I don't know."

Mr Briggs said it was to early to say whether there would be a dedication of any kind to the princess at the hospice. He said that decision would have to be made by the trustees who are to meet shortly.

FLAGS were flying at half mast in Chorley this week - as in every other town, city and village throughout the country.

One was outside Chorley Police Station where a spokesman said: "Our hearts and sympathies go out to all concerned. I think a lot of people were genuinely upset about that tragic news."

CHORLEY is set to come to a standstill on Saturday morning when the princess's funeral takes place in Westminster Abbey at 11am.

Shops and businesses will delay openings, sporting events will be cancelled and a two minutes silence will be observed in some public places.

An ecumenical service of commemoration attended by the Mayor of Chorley Lindsay Hoyle at St George's Church, Chorley, takes place at 2.30pm. All members of the public wishing to attend will be welcome.

Chorley Borough Council will close All Seasons Leisure Centre, Clayton Green Sports Centre and Brinscall Swimming Pool until 2pm.

Astley Hall will close for the whole day and Chorley Market will not open at the request of market traders.

The council has set up its own "Book of Condolences" for local people to express their feelings.

It will be open in the reception area at the Town Hall, Market Street, Chorley, each day this week from 9am until 6.30pm and again on Saturday until 5pm.

One visitor, Mrs Maureen Swarbrick, of Woodville Road, Chorley, said: "I think she was such a lovely person and she did such a lot for people in the country and the children.

"She touched a lot of people's hearts. I don't think she will ever be forgotten."

Another, was Kris Williams, of Shaw Hill, Whittle-le-Woods, who said: "I've come more as a mum than anything else.

"I hope the world will grant William and Harry the peace they didn't her." Mrs Susan Docherty, of Bolton, was another who made a personal tribute. "I just feel I have to do it. It is the only tribute we can pay. I'm shocked it's a tragic loss."

Council employee Derrick Whittle, of Melrose Way, Chorley, said: "I feel she will be missed by everybody."

Val Whittle, of Preston Road, Whittle-le-Woods, wrote a message, as did her young sons James and John.

"It is such a sad occasion. You just feel as if you need to do a little bit of something. It's terrible, a complete waste of life, unnecessary really," she said.

James made an entry "because she's a very important lady and I will miss her."

While John said: "She was a really nice person."

Council leader John Wilson said: "Everybody is obviously very shocked, shattered and appalled at what has happened.

"Like most people, I feel let down in some way. She is virtually irreplaceable."

And former Chorley MP Den Dover described Diana as a superb ambassador for the UK and a wonderful mother and said her death was a tragic loss.

He said he had never met her personally, but commented: "I attended the opening of Terminal Four at Heathrow Airport. She and Prince Charles were there. Prince Charles gave a wonderful speech and she was extremely glamorous, beautiful and unbelievably thin and they seemed very happy.

"I think really the reception throughout the world is its own tribute to her. She has captured the hearts of the youngest to the eldest, particularly those that have been oppressed in various forms like the land mines thing and those in need of help. And really at the age of 36 she's fitted in enough for about 10 lifetimes."

He said her children William and Harry would miss her "very badly" and added that under difficult circumstances she played her part wonderfully well.

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