Schoolgirl’s grief at death of grandfather

Colin Churcher with granddaughter Georgia
Colin Churcher with granddaughter Georgia

A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD ballet dancer is determined to finish next year’s Mini-Run in memory of her athlete grandfather, who died last week aged 73.

Young Georgia Duckett, a talented young dancer who goes to Filsham Valley School, wrote to the Observer to say how devastated she was after the death of Colin Curcher.

Mr Curcher was a well-known figure locally, who ran in almost every Hastings Half Marathon there has been despite battling leukemia for the last 15 years of his life.

“He was an amazing and important person in my life who will always be with me and in my heart,” said Georgia.

Now, Mr Curcher’s five children plan to run the next Hastings Half Marathon in his memory, raising money for St Michael’s Hospice, where he died on Thursday, August 18.

And little Georgia, of Railway Cottages, St Leonards, plans to finish the Mini-Run, which happens at the same time as the Hastings Half, to do her bit.

Born in Goring, West Sussex, in 1938, Mr Curcher moved to Hastings after marrying his wife Wendy in 1959.

A regular face at Falaise Gym, he also kept up a paper round along Fernside Avenue and in Silverhill, St Leonards, seven days a week till just a few years ago, sticking with the work because of his love of early mornings, and his friendly, talkative nature.

After all five of his children went through The Grove school, Mr Curcher began invigilating there. Years serving as an officer for the borough council introduced him to yet another section of Hastings and St Leonards.

His first love was running, and through athletics Mr Curcher became friends with another recent loss to the town - Reg Wild, who also died of cancer recently. The pair’s funerals are being held on the same day.

“He fought the leukemia with every part of him,” said Wendy, who celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with Mr Curcher in 2009. “He loved running, and that kept the disease at bay.”

Georgia’s mother Nicki paid tribute to Mr Curcher, describing him as “embedded in the community”.

“He will be so missed, by Georgia and by all of us,” she added.

Mr Curcher’s funeral will be at 11am on Tuesday (August 30), at Hastings Crematorium, The Ridge.

All are welcome, and the family have asked for cheerful dress, and for donations to St Michael’s Hospice, rather than flowers.