Roy was always passionate about Polegate

New National Express coach being named 'Roy Martin' by Norman Baker MP by Polegate Train Station
New National Express coach being named 'Roy Martin' by Norman Baker MP by Polegate Train Station

THE funeral of ‘Mr Polegate’ was held last week and attended by dignitaries from the three councils he served.

Roy died on May 30 following a short illness and last Friday mourners gathered at St John’s Church to pay their respects.

Roy Martin's funeral at St John's Church, Polegate'22/06/12

Roy Martin's funeral at St John's Church, Polegate'22/06/12

Roy Martin was a Polegate town and Wealden district councillor at the time of his death at the age of 86.

He had also previously served many years as an East Sussex County Councillor.

Councillors past and present attended the service at St John’s and walked behind the family car as it arrived at the church.

Chris Dowling, the chairman of East Sussex County Council, and Becky Shaw, the county council’s chief executive, attended along with Jonica Fox, chair of Wealden District Council, Bob Standley, the leader of the district council, and Charles Lant, Wealden’s chief executive.

Polegate MP Norman Baker and Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd also attended along with the representatives of the Royal British Legion.

A bugler played the last post at both the church and Eastbourne Crematorium and Roy’s band The Jazz Caverners played along with the Expedient Brass Band.

After the service, the coach from National Express, which was named after Roy Martin, followed the family cars to Eastbourne Crematorium for the private cremation.

There were no road closures, but the local police helped to direct the traffic.

Tributes were paid to Roy Martin when he died.

Polegate MP Norman Baker, a close friend, said, “I have known Roy for around 25 years and will miss him very much. He was a fantastic and unique character who was much loved in the town and beyond.

“He was an assiduous local councillor who always did his best to help local people, and with the energy of a man half his age. He did much to put the Lib Dems on the map in Polegate.

“He was also a great jazz musician, and was still playing with his band, the Jazz Caverners, until very recently, a band that he started before I was born.

“I am really glad I was able to get a coach named after Roy, which I hope will continue to come through Polegate and be a lasting tribute to him.”

Cllr Malcolm Cunningham, Mayor of Polegate, who attended the funeral with Deputy Mayor of Polegate John Harmer, said, “Roy cared passionately about Polegate and the people who live here.

“He worked hard to ensure he put us on the map and one achievement of which he was most proud was being instrumental in getting a by-pass built around the town.

“Roy was never afraid to speak his mind but he also brought great humour to the proceedings.

“It was not unusual to be told ‘it’s just hard luck Donald Duck’.

“They certainly broke the mould when they had made Roy Martin.”