Leading stalwart Sir John ‘will be greatly missed’

Eastbourne Lewes & District NSPCC AGM at East Dean Village Hall. (L to R) Sir John Chatfield outgiong president and acting chairman, Sara Stonor Deputy Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex and Lady Barbara Chatfield.
Eastbourne Lewes & District NSPCC AGM at East Dean Village Hall. (L to R) Sir John Chatfield outgiong president and acting chairman, Sara Stonor Deputy Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex and Lady Barbara Chatfield.

A LEADING Eastbourne Conservative stalwart has died.

Sir John Chatfield passed away on Friday March 26 after a long battle with cancer. He leaves his wife, Lady Barbara.

Sir John was a former senior partner at Hart Reade Solicitors and widely respected for his work within local politics, for which he was knighted.

He was a past chairman and leader of East Sussex County Council and also past president and chairman of the Eastbourne Conservative Association. He was also a former president of the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Roger Perry, the managing partner at Hart Reade, led the tributes to Sir John this week.

He said, “John was a partner of Hart Reade from 1956 to 1989.

“That was a period of sustained growth and success for the firm in which he played a distinguished and leading role.

“He retained an interest in our fortunes in his retirement and we were particularly pleased that he was able to join us at our centenary celebrations last year. He will be greatly missed and our sympathies go out to Lady Barbara and the family.”

Current Conservative party president in Eastbourne Brian Higgins described Sir John as a “giant in the community”.

He said, “He was a real stalwart of the Conservative Party and the scene locally. He led by example and was highly respected.”

John Thornley at the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra said, “Sir John was a great and loyal supporter of the ESO with a fine knowledge of classical music.

“He always worked hard behind the scenes to ensure the orchestra’s progress.”