Remembering the well-loved Hastings character the town took to its heart

George Boag who was widely loved and respectedGeorge Boag who was widely loved and respected
George Boag who was widely loved and respected
People have been sharing memories of a well-loved local character who lived for years in a make-shift shelter on a Hastings golf course.

It was prompted after a share by local man Michael Wells who was mentioning Everard George Boag who was a familiar and well-respected figure to many in Hastings in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Michael Wells said: “He was a traveller who walked hundreds of miles. He lived on the golf course along Filsham and was loved by all the locals, including children.

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"If ever there was a garden party he was always invited, even if it was a posh one. He came from a very wealthy family and was himself very intelligent, but loved living as a free spirit. The town offered to house him, but he refused because he liked the free life. We as kids liked him because he was so kind and a real gentle soul.”

Many shared memories of ‘George’ as he was known. Steam trains, using the rail line by the golf course would offload some coal for him, when they passed his shack, to keep his fire going. They also threw over baked potatoes they had cooked for him in the engine tender.

Lynda Osman said: “My grandfather was a driver on the steam trains and would always blow the whistle as he was getting near the railway bridge so that George could be ready with his bucket to catch a jacket potato that he had cooked in the ashes on the way down from Charing Cross.

Bernie Adams said: “He was a big fellow with long hair and a beard, wearing a herringbone coat. He was always very nice to us children and was known to the kids as ‘Walking Jesus’.”

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Natalie Burgess said: “My mum used to take cakes to him that my nanny made. She said he was a lovely gentleman. Everyone respected him.”

Anita Standen said: “I remember him as a child when we used to play on South Saxons playing fields. He was the kindest, happiest man you could ever meet.”

Former Hastings Museum and Art Gallery curator Victoria Seymour writes about Mr Boag in her book on local history. She says he was a professional soldier who fought in the Boer War and later became a PE teacher in a girl’s school.

Some people are calling for the town to put a plaque up to remember him.

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Everard George Boag was born on July 19 1883 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland. His father Arthur Raglan Boag was 28 and his mother, Susanna Armitage was 27. He married Sara Ann Kennedy in 1922, in Fylde, Lancashire. He travelled the United Kingdom before arriving in Hastings, where he died, in a local hospital at the age of 85.

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