Steyning stalwart George Cockman remembered with plaque at Steyning Leisure Centre

A plaque in remembrance of George Cockman has been unveiled at Steyning Leisure Centre.

George gave so much time to Steyning and the wider Horsham district, and was instrumental in the setting up of the leisure centre.

Peter Burgess, Horsham District Council chairman, with the family of the late George Cockman and former councillor Sue Rogers, who organised the plaque

Peter Burgess, Horsham District Council chairman, with the family of the late George Cockman and former councillor Sue Rogers, who organised the plaque

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Sue Rogers, who served as a Horsham district councillor with George for four years, organised the plaque as she felt there should be a permanent reminder of his efforts.

She said: “George made such a contribution to getting the centre, before it was built in 1991. He even did a sponsored swim to raise money for the floating floor in the pool.

“I felt there sould be something in Steyning to remember him. I didn’t want it to be a bench, I wanted it to be something more. He was deputy head at Steyning Grammar and so many young people knew him, so having a plaque at the leisure centre will mean they can tell their children they were taught by him.”

The plaque in remembrance of George Cockman

The plaque in remembrance of George Cockman

Sue had the idea back in January and put the feelers out on Facebook.

She added: “Within hours, I had well over 100 likes and so many comments from people. He was such a lovely man. I felt like I had a lot of support.”

Steyning Parish Council and Ashurst Parish Council each gave a grant of £150 and Horsham district councillors made personal contributions.

Peter Burgess, Horsham District Council chairman, unveiled the plaque on Friday.

Sue Rogers presented a bouquet to Beulah Cockman, George's widow, to recognise the contribution made by councillors' partners

Sue Rogers presented a bouquet to Beulah Cockman, George's widow, to recognise the contribution made by councillors' partners

It reads: “In remembrance of Cllr George Cockman MBE 1939-2016

“Who served as a district councillor of this community for twenty years and whose major contribution towards securing this Leisure Centre, together with countless other services across the district, is recognised with gratitude

“The people of Steyning & Ashurst, friends and colleagues at Horsham District Council”

Mr Cockman passed away in July 2016, leaving his wife Beulah, son Giles and daughter Emma.

Mr Burgess said: “George was an independent councillor from 1995 to 2015. He was an excellent chairman of the scrutiny and overview committee and a very well-liked man.

“He was well known for his community work in Steyning and played a pivotal role in getting Steyning Leisure Centre funded and constructed.

“He was an example to us all, as a man and a councillor, offering dedication, consistency and hard work.”