Rouser’s recent article about Hong Kong Dave of Lewes brought memories back for some.
Nathan Parkin, former secretary of Lewes Consituency Socialist Labour Party, writes: “I remember Dave very well indeed.
“The reason he took the nick-name ‘Hong Kong’ was because he spent much of his life living there before coming to England a few years before its hand-over to China.
“Whle there, he had been a pro-democracy activist, protesting against both the British and Chinese governments’ refusal to grant democracy to the former colony. Police harrassment in Hong Kong was apparently one reason he came back to England.
“Although originally from Yorkshire, when returning to England he settled in Lewes, where he squatted at Priory Cottage (near the Priory ruins), then an empty property, before later moving into a caravan in an encampment of travellers and other homeless people at the end of South Street.
“As well as being one of the first ever Big Issue vendors to appear in Lewes, he also became a prolific local communiy activist, very involved in local issues and campaigns, and was also a great animal lover.
“His political views seemed to be a heady mixture of Socialism, Anarchism and Newcasatle Brown Ale.
“The photo in the recent Rouser was I think taken for the local press after he had once saved a dog from drowning in the Ouse.”
And Molly Romanov says: “I remember Dave very well, with his lovely smile and outgoing personality.
“He was the first Big Issue seller in Lewes, appearing at some point in the second half of the 1990s. He always stood on the south pavement of Cliffe Bridge no matter what the weather, and I bought the magazine from him every week.
“He was always cheerful and outgoing, naturally polite, and clearly wanted to do better for himself. The last time I saw him he said that he had been offered a job in (I think) the Isle of Wight, and he was off to take it up.
“I wished him luck, and have never seen him since.
“I hope the job worked out for him.”