It is sad to record the death of Derek Austin. He had been receiving treatment in Basildon Hospital and was due to come home, but suffered a sudden relapse.
Derek was born in Surrey in 1937 and in 1956, he married Hazel Warwick. They moved to Thurrock in the 1960s and both became active in local history. They worked on the Mucking excavation and used their brass rubbing skills to record the brasses in most of Thurrock’s churches. In the 1980s, he became part of the Coalhouse Fort Project.
Derek was a long standing member of the Thurrock Local History Society. In 2000, he began the work to establish an Internet presence for the society and was appointed Chairman of the Web Site Committee. He was subsequently elected Vice Chairman of the Society.
At the Christmas party in 2017, Derek asked Sentimental Journey to sing “Mairzy Doats”. In turn they asked him to join them in the performance.
Rest in Peace, Derek. We will remember the twinkle in your eye as you sang that a kid’ll eat ivy too.