A FRIEND this week paid tribute to ‘all round fellow’ Geoffrey Stephen Bates who was found dead in his Carisbrooke Road flat on March 25 aged 60 after suffering a heart attack.
Born in Sheffield on July 2, 1953, Geoff moved to Hastings with his family in the late 1960s and he used to live above the former post office in Mount Pleasant.
Geoff was a skilled carpenter and supplemented his work as a ‘chippy’ by working in various pubs in the Old Town, mainly the Lord Nelson, but he also did stints in the Carlisle and in the Millers Arms in Ore.
Serving ‘many thousands of pints to many thousands of people,’ he then took on the tenancy at the now closed Royal George, opposite Hastings station, where he served many more pints.
Paul Hoyle, of Pevensey Road, said: “He was fun and Geoff would just do anything for you. He was just an all round fellow.
“You couldn’t talk to a single person who had a bad word to say about him.
“He worked for me on private jobs over the years, he was a very good ‘chippy’ and he had done lots of work for various people around town.
“Although well-known around the town, Geoff was also known in recent years to keep himself to himself and to go out infrequently. Yet why this extremely likable man managed to lie dead in his home for days, remains a mystery. Even sadder, having no family in the area, he was given a ‘community’ funeral on April 29. As most of his friends did not realise he had died, only a couple of mourners attended.
“For someone so well-known and liked to have ended his days in such a manner is nothing short of tragic.”