Death of Lewes man who ‘was the face of the police force’

Phillip Hall received a NODA Certificate of Appreciation in 2015
Phillip Hall received a NODA Certificate of Appreciation in 2015

Phillip Hall, who has died at the age of 83, was a character generations of local youngsters were familiar with.

‘PC Hall’ was the face of the police force, serving as schools liaison officer for 10 years.

He gave talks and advice on a wide range of police and safety issues at 19 schools in the Lewes area.

Mr Hall, of Cross Way, Lewes, was truly a man of many parts. He grew up in Glynde and did National Service as a flight engineer in the RAF.

It was an episode not without drama. Three out of four engines failed on a routine trip and his transport plane was forced to ditch in the Mediterranean. He and his crewmates were posted missing and spent several hours on a life raft before being rescued.

Later, his career with Sussex Police spanned some 30 years and included spells as the village bobby in Burwash and in Camber, patrolling his beat on a bicycle.

He and his wife Sylvia moved from his post in Haywards Heath to Lewes 50 years ago. In addition to his schools work before retirement in 1984, Mr Hall was involved in the Cycling Proficiency Scheme and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Retirement saw him busier than ever and he was custodian at The Clergy House, the National Trust property in Alfriston, for 12 years until 1996.

He served as an independent on Lewes Town Council for eight years and on Lewes District Council for four.

Mr Hall was on the committee of the Lewes Twinning Association for many years, also serving as Chairman, and was Secretary of the local branch of the Royal Air Forces Association.

He was a fixture of the annual St Mary’s pantomime in Lewes and read contributions for the local Talking Newspaper.

But it was as a long-term stalwart of Lewes Operatic Society that many will remember him best, being a Vice President, Life Member and past Chairman.

He was also the holder of the prestigious 50-year long service medal awarded by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) in 2004.

These badges are awarded for active service to the amateur theatre and are intended for those who are essential and indispensable to putting on shows.

Following a private funeral, a memorial service will be held for Mr Hall on Friday, January 19, at Southover Church, Lewes, at a time to be confirmed.

He leaves a widow and two children, Sarah and Simon.