Road with no name christened with a song

A road has been named during a touching ceremony in the heart of Polegate.

The “lane with no name” has been Christened the Roy Martin Way in memory of the charismatic former mayor and jazz band leader from the town.

Norman Baker unveils Roy Martin Way roadsigns in Polegate. With Roy's family and councillors

Norman Baker unveils Roy Martin Way roadsigns in Polegate. With Roy's family and councillors

The former district and town councillor’s wife Ros, daughter Madeleine Marshall and her husband Harry were joined by around 30 well wishers including Norman Baker MP at the naming.

Mr Barker unveiled the road sign alongside the town’s mayor, Cllr Malcolm Cunningham on November 16.

Mr Barker then led the crowd in a rendition of the Louis Armstrong song ‘When you are smiling’ in tribute to the World War Two RAF hero who used to perform the track with his band The Jazz Caverners.

Cllr Cunningham said: “In May when we lost Roy I wanted to think of something to put his name to and remember him by.

“This road will always be here and so Roy will always be remembered by his family and friends and the young people who will ask who Roy Martin was, so now we can tell them who he was and what he did.”

Mrs Martin, 84, said: “Roy would have been as pleased as punch with this. I think it is a fitting tribute to him.”

Mrs Marshall said: “It is wonderful to have a permanent memorial to my Dad in the heart of Polegate, a town he loved and loved to serve its people.

“He would have loved the music, which was a huge part of his life, and loved the people getting together. He was a man who lived life to the full and had fun, this would have been fun for him.”

The 86-year-old also had a National Express coach named after him before his death in May this year from cancer.

Mr Barker said: “Roy epitomised Polegate and was much loved in the town so it is entirely fitting that he is remembered in the town and what better way than to name a street after him.”

To watch the memorial song visit Sussex Express web site.