THE tight-knit community of the Old Town is reeling from the loss of a well-known local character.
Stephen Mayne, also known as Steve-the-hair, ran Hair Raid Shelter, the barbers’ shop next to the West Hill lift in George Street.
Mr Mayne, who lived in Albion Lane, was found after committing suicide last Thursday, October 13.
Tributes have been paid to the man who was a familiar face on George Street and throughout the Old Town.
Jonathan Mendenhall, a friend of Mr Mayne, who is also to conduct the funeral ceremony, said: “He was very well known and loved.
“Every single day, he lived and worked in George Street. He would be seen every evening, sitting outside one of the cafes or bars.
“It will be the biggest funeral the old town has seen for a long time.”
Mr Mendenhall, of Winding Street, a freelance journalist, added: “We are heartbroken, the Old Town is devastated.”
Mr Mayne, who according to those who knew him, had lived in Hastings around 12 years. He had previously run a shop Something for the Weekend on the High Street, before opening the barbers’ shop in George Street.
He was involved in a variety of groups, such as the Skeleton Crew, and the Winkle Club, and was no stranger to charity fundraising.
John Napier, friend of Mr Mayne, and owner of Cobblers to the Old Town, in the High Street, said: “He was a very good friend. He was always a very happy-go-lucky chap.
“He was involved in all sorts around the town.”
Landlord of the Royal Albion Shaun Mcgraine said: “Steve was a good customer, and a good friend.
“He was always a snappy dresser, very stylish. I remember he came in with a Christian Dior coat once. On the day that we found out, there were people wandering around in shock and tears. The whole of the Old Town shut down.”
Stephen Mayne’s funeral is to take place on Friday, November 4, at Hastings Crematorium, at 11am, following a procession through the Old Town, which will begin at the Royal Albion pub, George Street.