Tributes paid to former manager of Birds Eye Factory in Eastbourne

George Tickle, the popular former factory manager at the Birds Eye site in Eastbourne has passed away.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 3:06 pm
George Tickle, the former factor manager of Bird's Eye in Eastbourne SUS-200128-095330001

Mr Tickle was the factory general manager at the Lottbridge Drove complex from 1981 until it closed in 1988 and a Rotarian for many years.

He died suddenly at his home in Eastbourne on Wednesday January 15 and leaves his wife Betty, children Karen and Stephen along with five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

His funeral is at 1.30pm at Holy Trinity Church on Tuesday February 4 and from 3pm at the Crematorium.

George Tickle, the former factor manager of Bird's Eye in Eastbourne SUS-200128-095330001

Mr Tickle was born in Warrington, Cheshire, and began his working life for Unilever. He moved to Eastbourne in the early 1980s when he managed Birds Eye and then looked after the Hull and Grimsby’s Birds Eye factories until he retired in 1990 when he and Betty returned to Sussex and lived in Friston.

Betty said her late husband was instrumental in setting up the Eastbourne & District Enterprise Agency, the chairman of Relate, chaired the committee to build East Dean Village Hall, was chairman of Wealden Conservatives and a former non-executive director of Eastbourne DGH Trust. As well as being a former member of the Royal Golf Club in Eastbourne, Mr Tickle was a member of East Dean Bowls Club and was a member of the Rotary Club of Eastbourne. He helped his wife Betty with fundraising for the NSPCC, organised the East Dean and Friston Luncheon Club and helped over many years with the Rotary’s Alone at Christmas lunch on Christmas Day.

Betty said he also went on outings with East Dean and Friston Gardening Club and loved going to watch cricket matches at the Saffrons and in local villages.

She said, “Everything George did was to help people and make life better for them.”


Mr Tickle’s family has requested family flowers only at his funeral but people can if they wish to make donations to the Children with Cancer Fund in Polegate.

Birds Eye Factory was set up by Czech lawyer Ernest Velden who migrated to England in 1939 and set up the factory in Eastbourne producing Arctic roll in 1958. During the 80s more than 25 miles of Arctic roll were sold each month.