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Town mourns 'friend for life'

Tutti Day Orangeman Paul dies suddenly, at the age of 52

Paul Lewington

Paul Lewington in his role as the Tutti Day Orangeman. Photograph by Tony Bartlett

HUNGERFORD is mourning the loss of veteran Tutti Day ‘Orangeman’ Paul Lewington.

Mr Lewington died suddenly on Tuesday, February 28, just two months before he would have fulfilled his Hocktide duties for 2017, as in years gone by.

He was aged 52.

His funeral took place last Thursday at West Berkshire Crematorium in Thatcham. Donations were made in his name to the Cats Protection League.

Constable of the Town and Manor of Hungerford, Ellie Dickins, paid tribute, saying she was shocked, along with fellow trustees and commoners, at “the sudden and unexpected death”.

Mr Lewington was appointed Orangeman in 2003, succeeding his uncle, Bob Lewington, who retired after 25 years of duty.

His duty as Orangeman was one of bodyguard to the Tuttimen while they visited the commoners to collect their ‘head pennies’ on Tutti Day.

The head penny is the tip paid by the commoners to the Tithing men or women – the official title of their office – for a job well done on the last day of duty and for keeping the peace in the town.

Mrs Dickins said: “Paul continued the service and tradition from his predecessors Bob Lewington, his uncle, and, before him, Dick Scarlett.

“He was always smartly dressed and carried out his duty with professional dignity as well as a sense of fun.

“As Orangeman, he guided the Tuttimen through the town, visiting the commoners, who always offered a drink with a snack before parting with a few pennies to be thrown ‘for the poor’.

“At the end of a very long, 12-hour day, during which time they could well have had 60 or 70 drinks of one sort or another, Paul, as the responsible Orangeman, was to see the duty Tuttimen complete the day at the final stop.

“This is always at the Three Swans Hotel, where the final reception by the constable takes place.”

She added: “The relationship between the Tuttimen and the Orangeman was that of a friend for life.

“Paul was one friend that all those Tuttimen who served with him, will grieve for such a short life.”

Mrs Dickins went on: “All the commoners and the trustees of the Town and Manor of Hungerford will miss this good man.

“His passing was very sudden and a great shock to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

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