Memorial bench to be dedicated to North Finchley street personality Horace White

Horace White who passed away in September

Horace White who passed away in September

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

A memorial bench will be dedicated to well-known street personality Horace White after plans were given the go-ahead by Barnet Borough Council tonight.

Councillors voted in favour of installing a bench in North Finchley, where the 54-year-old could often be found chatting to passers-by outside shops.

The eccentric character was best known for wishing people the “best of luck” and would insist on knowing everyone's surname.

But Horace, who lived on the Grange Estate in East Finchley, collapsed outside the Whittington Hospital on his way to an appointment last September.

Despite doctors' efforts to save his life, he was pronounced dead that night.

Thousands of mourners took to media sites to share their fond memories. More than 10,000 people “Liked” a Facebook page entitled RIP Horace and an online petition gathered 6,000 web signatures calling for a memorial to be set up in the area.

Speaking at tonight’s Finchley and Golders Green area environment sub-committee, Councillor Arjun Mittra motioned for a bench in his honour.

Reminiscing about Horace, Cllr Mittra said: “He would travel up and down the 263 bus and would always be in North Finchley talking to people.

“He would ask someone’s surname and 20 years later he’d remember it. He was a famous character and very popular in the community.”

Councillors voted to dedicate a bench to Horace, with Councillor Lord Munroe Palmer calling it a "marvellous idea". Cash will be used from the Mayor’s Outer London Fund to pay for its installation.

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