Dedicated Ian awarded BEM by the Queen

Ian Porter
Ian Porter

A HASTINGS man who is heavily involved in community groups in the area has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM).

Ian Porter is one of several people from Sussex who was recognised for his dedication in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Since his retirement 25 years ago the 79-year-old has been heavily involved with local groups and is treasurer of the Hastings Winkle Club, of which Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Montgomery were members.

He is also a president of St Leonards Rotary, a trustee of the Fishermen’s Museum, past chairman of the Old Hastings Preservation Society and vice-chairman and treasurer of the Hastings Old Town Carnival Association, to name a few.

Mr Porter, also chairman of the local High Street Traders’ Association, is particularly passionate about Hastings Old Town and shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to his involvement with the community.

The septogenarian, who was awarded for his services to heritage and to the community in Hastings Old Town, said: “When I retired I thought I ought to toss something back into the bucket.”

In response to being awarded the special accolade he said: “When I found out I was absolutely amazed.

“My wife was very pleased as well but I’ve had such huge support from her, without her I couldn’t have gone as far as I have.”

The Martineau Lane resident, who used to have auction rooms in Hastings High Street, is an independent custody visitor and coordinates visits for detainees.

Mr Porter, who says he finds that role particularly enjoyable, is still deeply involved in the Old Town Carnival Week.

Mr Porter, who has two children and two step-children and used to live in Ewhurst Green, said: “The Old Town part is my main interest, there’s something going on at least once a week.

“We have bikers coming, the Seafood and Wine Festival and the Pirate Day which is going to be fantastic this year.

“The people are very friendly and when I came to Hastings 25 years ago I was welcomed with open arms and invited into people’s homes.”