A two-day music festival will be held in Bexhill this weekend in tribute to a man ‘who wanted others to be happy and enjoy life as he did’.
Les Jones is sorely missed by many in the town, and an event in his memory will be held at No.48, Devonshire Road, on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27 – just ahead of what would have been his 54th birthday next week.
No.48’s manager, Andy Rimmer, said: “We can all take a leaf out of Les’s book, always a smile and a happy face, positivity exuded from Les, he was a genuine bloke who wanted others to be happy and enjoy life as he did.
“Les’s family were very loving but not geographically close, his sister and brother both live abroad.
“He loved to visit them but when his parents passed away six years ago it was a worry for them as he was going to be required to live on his own, in an assisted living arrangement.
“After initial settling in issues Les then flourished, and the local community became a kind of adopted family to Les.”
Les, who lived on Egerton Road, enjoyed gym sessions and Zumba classes, and found time to volunteer at the Cancer Research shop, where he spent time listening to some of his favourite artists – Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and of course, Elvis.
Les was a regular at No.48 during the daytime and in the evening, where he loved listening to the live music, often becoming part of the show with his dance moves.
Andy added: “Les was an adopted son of Bexhill as he became a real true community chap, always with a smile and a greeting, he always had the time for people. He would say ‘ladies first’ – he was a true gent, always helping people with the door, very courteous and always positive.
“It is fair to say that he maybe didn’t have the same opportunities in life as many of us but it sure didn’t stop him enjoying it.
“His love of bright shirts, bananas, darts, cups of tea and ham sandwiches were second to music, he enjoyed all music and he has been sadly missed at No.48 and throughout the town.
“Music is an inclusive form, it can be enjoyed by everyone and this is the perfect fitting tribute to a man who loved his music, loved his community he was loved by the team, customers at No.48 and the wider community.
“We are glad to have had so many nice experiences with him. We are grateful to all the performers who are volunteering their time and talents this weekend, we encourage people to wear their bright shirts in homage to Les Jones, No.1 at No.48.”
The two-day festival is free to all. For more details of the festival, see page 58.