Tributes to businessman Mark

Mark Symonds
Mark Symonds

TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular businessman who sadly took his own life.

Mark Symonds, 44, who lived off Filsham Road, St Leonards, died last Monday (September 16) after taking an overdose of prescription drugs.

Shocked friends and family spoke of a ‘highly popular young man’ who had many friends in Hastings and St Leonards.

Chris Lee, a friend of the family, said: “Mark was a highly intelligent, complex person with enormous charm. He was kind, witty and the very best of company. His family and the many friends who loved him will miss him always.”

Mr Symonds was also a familiar face on Hastings seafront where he was joint managing director, together with his brother Harry, of Coastal Amusements, the family business which owns the Deluxe Leisure Centre in Pelham Place.

The former Eastbourne College student was captain of the college’s golf club, opening bat for the cricket team and an accomplished swimmer and excellent high diver.

After leaving school Mr Symonds joined the family business in Hastings and in recent years he has, together with his brother and father, also called Harry, been a driving force in ensuring the company’s continued success.

The firm has done a lot of fundraising work for local good causes down the years and Mr Symonds himself raised hundreds of pounds for Friary Gardeners, part of the Parchment Trust, by performing a perfect swallow dive from the top of the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland.

Friary Gardeners, based at Ore Place Farm, off The Ridge, offers horticultural training for people with disabilities.

Sadly Mr Symonds had suffered from depression for many years.

He took his own life at his home in St Leonards on the eve of his birthday and left a note for his family, saying there was ‘no alternative’.

His funeral is on Thursday (October 4) at Hastings Crematorium. The funeral is private and only for members of his family.

Mr Symonds is survived by his father Harry, mother Anne and brother Harry.