Colin’s story started on the 19th May 1938. The eldest of four children, Pat, Barry and Caroline being his siblings, they, along with Wendy, all grew up in Goring, West Sussex.
Colin first attended Elm Grove Junior school and then Tarring Boys school, and he was a keen runner even at this early age. He also helped organize the Goring boys club, and the family remember the story of Colin performing on stage of the boys club dressed in boots and a ballet tutu! His escapades didn’t end there though as Wendy told us of Colin’s RAF National Service frivolities. He was dared by a fellow airman to ride his motor bike around the airbase in Cornwall, not much of a dare you may think - except he had to do it nude, a challenge he allegedly completed.
Colin and Wendy met when he was twenty one and she was just seventeen at Walker Stores, the supermarket where they both worked. Their first date was to see Frankie Vaughan in Brighton, where Colin asked Wendy ‘to be his special girl’.
Back then, Colin used to grab the girls and then he would tell them to ‘put me down.’ Well Wendy never did let go and 6 months later they were engaged. They married on the 3rd September 1960 at in St Mary’s Church in Goring and last year celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.
Their first home was a one bedroom bungalow in Bognor Regis and it was there that Mark was born in 1961. At this time Colin was working in Sainsburys. Two years on they moved to Eastergate where, a little later Martin was born. The family moved several times before finally moving into the flat above the Food Right supermarket in Silverhill, St Leonards, where Colin was manager, and it was here in 1971 that Helen was born.
The family finally settled at Wellis Gardens. This was truly a family home, Colin and Wendy fostered children in addition to raising their own and also took in foreign students. Helen recently had this message from one of the foster children who benefited from the love they received from Colin and his family.
‘You will know already your Dad was one in a million and I hold much love and affection for him and you all.
You all gave me the best year after leaving the awfulness of our real family and your parents helped me to regain trust in adults again.
I will always remember Colin, laughing, running and comforting me when I felt sad. His leaving has really hit me with great sadness. I know I haven't seen any of you for years but you all remain in my thoughts and have much love for all of you.’
Rachel was fostered from a baby, joining the family at just one week old. Coming from a mixed Asian background, Wendy mistook her jaundice for her natural colouring! Luckily for us all, she did recover. Rachel was officially adopted when she was three years old.
The family was completed when Nicki was adopted at the age of five after Rachel picked her out of an adoption catalogue! Something Rachel never lets Nicki forget!
We get a picture of Colin as wonderful man, who worked hard to provide for his family. He helped all the children with their paper rounds, but then found he loved doing it so much that he kept delivering papers until he was seventy one, only stopping because he broke his ankle. He may well have been Hastings oldest paper boy.
Since retiring from full time work Colin spent time invigilating exams at the Grove Secondary School, the school attended by all his children, though too late to hand out crib notes to help them pass exams.
Colin had a passion for running, being a member of Hastings Runners and Hastings Athletic Club. He participated in the Hastings Half Marathon since it’s inception, only missing two of the twenty seven races held so far. The first was the 24th half marathon, because he had pneumonia, and then this years because his illness finally caught up with him. The family are very happy that his love of the event will be commemorated by the local family prize being named after him. Colin also loved going the Falaise Gym and when Colin couldn’t run anymore because of his health he would spend time there, keeping himself fit is his bid to beat his illness.
Colin also ran the London Marathon numerous times, and as a tribute members of the family will be running in various events around the world to raise funds for St Michaels Hospise.
We can’t remember Colin without mentioning his love of biscuits or his compulsion to build walls wherever he has lived! His walls can be found in gardens across Sussex and as far away as Dubai.
He used to hide biscuits five at a time in his hand, but would leave a tell-tale trail of crumbs that would give him away. In fact he loved biscuits so much that when Colin finally gave up his fourteen year fight with Lymphatic Leukaemia the family toasted him with tea and biscuits.
Colin also loved music, particularly brass bands and going to see musicals in London. He was a great supporter of Battle Town Band and that same passion has been caught by the children. A week before Colin died, the family took him to London to see the Jersey Boys, a trip they will treasure forever.
Colin Curcher was a brave and valiant man who fought a terrible illness for almost a decade and a half. A man who was passionate about running, and fanatical about biscuits! A man who supported his boys with their running and his girls with their music. A man whose grandchildren meant everything to him. A man who loved his family and is deeply loved in return. A man who will be greatly missed.