Les ‘Gunner’ Curtis is a legend in Appledore, says Ray Goldsmith, well known for his daily walks with his dog Rusty around the village and for his affability and willingness to help others. He is a former Appledore shipyard welder of 38 years, along with his brothers, and is a font of local knowledge.
Not so well known are his fundraising efforts which involve growing and selling vegetables from his back garden every year and giving any donations to Fremington’s Little Bridge House Children’s Hospice. This year he added coffee mugs and a t-shirt to his fundraising repertoire.
Those seeking a Gunner’s Corner t-shirt can visit https://buff.ly/2rrwzye
Eponymous street sign
The idea for the merchandise came when he was honoured with an eponymous street sign near the bench he visits daily near Broad Lane in the village, with Rusty, where he often chats with passersby from all walks of life.
Several of his t-shirts have even found their way to Australia and Canada.
The sign appeared overnight and is assumed to be from an anonymous fan. The news story appeared across local news media which is where the picture came from.
Gunner said: “I sit on this bench daily for a while and have been for many years, so people who know me always wave or toot as they drive past. I meet all sorts of people on my travels from locals to visitors from all over the world.
“My brothers and I have been selling veg for years now and donating any proceeds to the Children’s Hospice.
“This year’s £1,300 amount was boosted by selling the -shirt which has proven to be quite popular and is a way of promoting our wonderful village which sees visitors from across the globe annually.”
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