Path dedicated to man dubbed ‘Mr Hastings’

The wife and granddaughter of 'Mr Hastings' cut the ribbon
The wife and granddaughter of 'Mr Hastings' cut the ribbon

THE granddaughter of the man dubbed Mr Hastings has cut the ribbon on a path named in his honour.

Derek Norcross, who died in 2006, left an indelible mark on the town after relocating here from St Helens in the north west - spending time as a councillor, a mayor and a much-loved school teacher.

And it was because of his time at St Paul’s School that local community group the Bohemia Association decided to dedicate the nearby path to him.

Peter Holland, chairman of the residents’ group, explained: “We have been trying for several years to name a few of Bohemia’s alleyways and paths to encourage residents to use and look after them.

“When we asked people around Bohemia for suggestions, Derek and Audrey’s (his wife) names as head and teacher at the school kept cropping up as people that locals would like to be remembered for their contribution to the area.”

The group enlisted the help of local councillor Andrew Cartwright and Terry Drunkwater - who managed to get funding for the sign via the Gensing and Central St Leonards Forum.

Earlier this week the path, which runs between North Road and Lower South Road was officially named in Mr Norcross’s honour - with his wife Audrey and granddaughter Emma cutting the ribbon in front of the current mayor of Hastings, Kim Forward.

And the couple’s daughter Katherine was also on hand. She said: “We used to jokingly call dad the King of Bohemia as wherever we walked he would always be waving and stopping to chat with all the people that knew him and would come up to say hello.”

George Monger Passage, by The North Star pub in Upper South Road, was also given a new name - this time to remember another one-time Bohemia resident - the 19-year-old who was awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War who lived in Tower Road.

Money from the recent grant also went on planting flowers throughout Bohemia and installing lighting in the two alleyways.

To join the Bohemia Area Association call 01424 445086 or pop into Mundays Newsagents. Membership is £3 a year.