‘Great character’ of Shoreham dies at 103

A ‘GREAT Shoreham character’ who lived in the same house for more than 100 years has died at the age of 103.

Len Burstow, pictured in the Herald on his 102nd birthday at Windsor Rest Home in Worthing W47731H12
Len Burstow, pictured in the Herald on his 102nd birthday at Windsor Rest Home in Worthing W47731H12

Len Burstow spent his last few years at a rest home in Worthing but until a few months after his 100th birthday, he lived in Western Road, in the house in which he was born.

Friend Jill Norton said: “He was a great Shoreham character who lived in the same house in Shoreham for more than 100 years.

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“He changed little inside it and was a wonderful source of local memories.”

Mr Burstow was born on November 18, 1910, the youngest of Frederick and Edith Burstow’s five children.

He had three sisters and an elder brother, who is remembered on Shoreham’s war memorial for services in world war one.

Mr Burstow was educated in Shoreham, at a small school near the parish church and at Victoria Road School, now Swiss Gardens Primary School.

As well as working in his father’s building, painting and decorating business, Mr Burstow became an ‘extra’ in a few silent films, which were made in the 1920s by a film company based on Shoreham Beach.

At the outbreak of world war two, he enlisted in the Army, but he was invalided out when he was found to be suffering from TB.

Another friend, David Wickham, said: “He claimed his recovery was due to his mother’s care, good food and Shoreham air.”

Mr Burstow became a postman until he retired to take care of his mother in her final years.

Mr Wickham added: “A few months after becoming a centenarian, he left his residence of over 100 years and moved into the Windsor Rest Home in Worthing, where he enjoyed the care and company of the staff there.”

He retained a keen interest in sport, politics and local news, through the Herald, and always refused to take the lift, saying ‘that’s for old people’.

Jill added: “Although a private person, in his later years, he will have been noted by many in Shoreham while walking his daily miles in and around the town and Downs.

“He will be missed for his mischievous banter, his prodigious memory and his lively conversation.”

The funeral service will be held at St Mary de Haura Church in Shoreham on Monday, March 3, at midday.