Friends and family attend concert in George’s memory

The concert to remember George Cockman was held on Saturday. Picture: Giles Cockman
The concert to remember George Cockman was held on Saturday. Picture: Giles Cockman
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More than 300 people turned out to remember well-known Steyning resident George Cockman over the weekend.

A concert featuring readings and songs was held on Saturday to honour the life of the former Horsham District councillor and Steyning Grammar School teacher.

The bell-ringers. Picture: Giles Cockman

The bell-ringers. Picture: Giles Cockman

Each contributor shared how their life had been impacted by George before they played or spoke,.

Former pupils, colleagues, friends and family shared poetry, music and readings which connected them to him.

George’s son Giles, 42, said: “The whole concert flowed so well and everybody spoke from the heart.

“There were around 20 to 25 people who performed on the day. These were all people who had come into contact with dad throughout their lives who wanted to honour him.

More than 20 people contributed to the concert. Picture: Caroline Meeson

More than 20 people contributed to the concert. Picture: Caroline Meeson

“We had a break about half way through the concert and it was great to see former colleagues and students meeting up together for the first time in years.

“It was nice to know that dad was able to bring these people together again, as he did so well throughout his life.”

Church bells rang out before and after the two hour service to remember George, a former bell-ringer.

After the service, many people shared their memories with Giles.

George's wife Beulah read a few lines from his favourite author. Picture: Caroline Meeson

George's wife Beulah read a few lines from his favourite author. Picture: Caroline Meeson

He added: “Several commented on how the concert had united Steyning in memory of a man who had done so much to make it the town it is today – and would love to see Steyning remember George in a permanent way going forward.

“As a family, our heartfelt thanks go out to all those who came to remember dad.”

Giles said the concert would not have been possible without the ‘tireless work’ of three people, in particular.

He added: “First of all, I would like to say a massive thank you to former Steyning Grammar student Jake Purches who recorded the whole service.

“Thanks also goes to two musicians Brian Sawyer and Carol Mitchell. Brian played a major part in organising the music and Carol was the project manager whilst organising the programme and the concert running order.

“There are so many people we would like to thank.”