A loving son has put his prized Jaguar car up for auction to raise money for a charity in memory of his mother who spent her latter years in Shepton Mallet.
Mark Slater's pride and joy – a 1997 Jaguar XJ6 3.2 litre Executive – will go under the DVCA auctioneer's hammer today at 1pm at the Gartell Light Railway station in Templecombe.
He is selling it to commemorate the memory of his late mother, Glennis May Slater.
Mrs Slater suffered from dementia in her later years and came to live with her daughter Caroline in Shepton Mallet in 2005.
Mark, who lives and works in America, spent the last three years in Shepton Mallet to be with and support them both.
Welsh born Mrs Slater had brought the two children up on her own since they were little and worked as a housekeeping manager at the ecclesiastical college of St Michael's in Llandaff until she was nearly 80.
But just as she was enjoying her well earned retirement, dementia set in. And despite the loving care of her family and the medical profession she died at Shepton Mallet Community Hospital in April, aged 93.
Mark bought the Jaguar while living in Shepton and his mother thoroughly enjoyed trips out in it. "I have to sell it as I have to go back to my work in America now and it seemed a nice way of doing something in Mum's memory and helping the Alzheimer Society at the same time," he said.
Mark is donating all the proceeds from the sale of the car to the Alzheimer's Society to help fund research into new treatments and a possible cure.
He said: "Unfortunately Mum was not always able to enjoy herself. Dementia is a destructive, debilitating disease and it attacks in many ways. With my mother it caused sleeplessness at night, unreasonable fears causing panic, separation anxiety and an inability to find or understand words. As the condition progressed her reason and logic departed and she suffered catastrophic memory loss, temporary amnesia and hallucinations. She suffered further physical limitations from Transient Ischemeic Attacks (TIAs). Finally, a fall, five infections, the gradual increasing onset of malnutrition and dehydration took her life away from her and from us."
Jo Swinhoe, director of fundraising and marketing at Alzheimer's Society said: "We are delighted to receive this gift from the Slater family. As a charity, we rely on voluntary donations to care for people today and fund research to find a cure for tomorrow.
"The family have requested this gift be designated for research, believing this to be their mother's wish.
"We hope bidding will be enthusiastic for this beautiful car which has meant so much to the life and times of Glennis."