Family is touched by support and kindness

Stephen Penrice playing rugby. Mr Penrice died on Eastbourne Pier in August 2014. SUS-140821-150516001

Stephen Penrice playing rugby. Mr Penrice died on Eastbourne Pier in August 2014. SUS-140821-150516001

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The sister of Stephen Penrice, who died trying to repair Eastbourne Pier, has thanked the community for their kind words and support.

Alison Miller contacted the Herald to say she and her family had found some comfort in the support and kind words from the people of Eastbourne.

She said, “On behalf of our mother Winnie, his partner Shannon and the rest of our family, we would like to express our gratitude to the community of Eastbourne for their kind words and support following the tragic death of Stephen Penrice.

“It remains a difficult time for us all, but we have drawn great comfort from knowing that the work being done by Stephen and his colleagues on the pier was appreciated so much and that his passing has touched so many.”

The 44-year-old,known as Penny, was from Cumbria and suffered fatal injuries when he fell from the seafront structure in August. He was part of a team working on rebuilding the pier after a third of it was damaged by fire on July 30.

His funeral was held on September 18 and some Eastbourne people travelled to Cumbria for the service.

Alison added, “We were fortunate to meet some of you among more than 400 mourners at Stephen’s funeral, but our thanks go out to so many more and unfortunately we are unable to express this sentiment in person.

“We thank you again and wish you good luck with the remainder of the pier reconstruction.”

Meanwhile, a Facebook campaign has begun to have the arcade renamed when it is rebuilt in memory of Stephen.

A group called Eastbourne Pier Arcade has been set up on the social media site.

It calls for the Funtasia arcade to be renamed Penny’s, which was Stephen’s nickname.

The person who set the group up is contacting pier owners and management with the idea.

They wrote, “They are thinking of placing a plaque on a bench but Stephen Penrice deserves better than that as had it not been for him we would not have our pier back so soon.”