Eastbournians past and present shared their memories of the late Ian Gow on the 25th anniversary of his death.
They recalled an approachable MP who was readily available for his constituents.
Jonathan Molloy said, “He was a good MP. I used to see him in the old Gateway store in the town centre, unusual for a MP to mix so freely.”
Liz Burtenshaw said, “He was such a good man. Remember going to his house once for a garden party. Beautiful. His wife Jane is lovely.”
Fleur Shaw El-Hspa added, “He was a great local MP and helped us personally. I can’t believe its been 25 years since his death,” while Daphne Brown said Mr Gow was “a lovely man, taken too soon”.
The awful events of July 30 1990 remain clear in the memories of those who lived in the area.
Sarah Killick said, “We lived a couple of miles away as the crow flies across the fields.
“My mum heard the bang. There were police everywhere, they came and talked to us too to see if we had spotted anyone in the nearby fields. Very sad.”
Elaine Griffiths added, “Heard the bang and felt the rumble in Langney, such a sad day, a great loss to Eastbourne and our country.”
Curly Giles said, “I remember hearing all the sirens, they seemed to go on forever though I had no idea what had happened till later.”
Mr Gow’s death also remains forever imprinted on the minds of the members of the emergency services who were dispatched to the scene.
Trevor Perks said, “I was the ‘gofer’ (office boy) in the major enquiry office learning first hand how a murder investigation is conducted.”
While Claire Ann Reynolds recalled, “Sad day. My father drove the hearse and I was on duty in the incident room on the day of the funeral.”
Eastbourne Herald reporter Annemarie Field was in the newsroom on the day Mr Gow died.
She said, “We initially thought it was a gas explosion.
“We got there and the world’s press descended on Hankham.
“A very sad day, he was such a top bloke.”
Former Lib Dem MP, Stephen Lloyd, added: “Although Mr Gow was the MP of Eastbourne way before my time, I was always struck by the profound impact he had on so many people across our town.
“Straddling the whole gamut of political opinions from left to right local residents remembered him fondly and with tremendous respect.
“I believe he was one of those rare politicians who the public recognised genuinely cared about them and about Eastbourne.
“It was a privilege to walk in his footsteps years later.”
For more on Ian Gow click here
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