TRIBUTES have been paid to motorcycle enthusiast Sam Walden who died last week in Belgium as he drove his bike to a track event.
Mr Walden, 29, who was manager of his family campsite business at Blackland Lakes, near Calne, died in a road accident involving a car, last Wednesday.
His mother, Barbara, said: “Motorcycle sport was a big part of his life and no-one could have stopped him from riding. I still cannot believe that he has gone forever from our lives.
“For many of his friends he was just a good mate, always joking and laughing. But there was also a serious side to him. He worked hard to maintain and improve the facilities and ambience of Blackland Lakes.
“The hard work and effort he put into that task is evident all over Blackland Lakes and has earned Sam many compliments from guests and colleagues alike.
“Sam was my rock and only because of his constant love and support was I able to pull through a very difficult time in the last few years.
“I lost my son, my friend and I am left heartbroken forever.”
Sam’s partner Hannah Schweitzer, of Abberd Way, Calne, said she texted Mr Walden telling him she loved him shortly before the accident happened.
She said: “I didn’t get a reply but I thought maybe he just didn’t have a signal.”
She received news of his death that evening when police arrived at her door. She said: “I just dropped to the ground in shock. Sam meant everything to me. We shared so much and did so much together. We were always travelling, going to festivals and track days.”
She said that Sam, who was involved in a serious bike accident in Calne just after they met three years ago, at first hid the fact from her and his mother that he had bought a new bike.
She said: “He kept it hidden in the garage as he knew we would worry. But we had to accept that motorcycles were a big part of his life and he was a very good rider. ”
She said her little girl Mollie, five, adored Mr Walden and he spent a lot of time playing with her.
Mr Walden a former pupil of The Mill School, Potterne, Warminster School and Lackham College, loved the countryside and all country pursuits.
Mr Walden’s brother Joseph, 24, said that as boys they would spend all day walking the fields and hills close to their home.
Joseph Walden said: “He was my big brother and I always looked up to him.”
Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised. Details will be posted on the Gazette website or can be checked with John Stuarts of Devizes on (01380) 723883.