Published: 12:15, 19 July 2017
The crowd will notice a familiar face missing in next week’s Deal Carnival following the passing of everyone’s favourite sailor man Popeye.
Ron Everett, who gained a reputation as the cartoon impersonator not only in Deal but around the county and beyond, died following a battle with cancer yesterday.
The 86-year-old travelled from Hastings to take part in the event every year and told KentOnline's sister paper the Mercury in 2015 that he would keep doing so until he reached three figures and beyond!
Chairman of Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown Regatta Association, John Trickey said: “Ron was a lovely man who bought a lot of joy to a lot of people, particularly children.
“He will be sadly missed next week at our carnival.”
The former naval man travelled all over Europe including France, Belgium and Portugal to be in carnivals but he confessed to having a great affection for Deal’s parade.
In an interview two year’s ago, he told the Mercury: “I always consider Deal my favourite carnival. It’s got something about it, I don’t know what it is.”
Mr Everett was never aboard a float, instead he chose to walk the whole route striking his well-practiced pop-eye pose and was always happy to stop for photographs.
It is a role he perfected after watching his father.
He said: “My dad was doing it before me. He did it when I was a boy. My dad was a funny guy. The kids at my school used to put their names down in a book to come to my house for tea because my parents were so funny.”
Tributes continue to flood in from around Kent and Sussex.
Friend Sid Saunders from Hastings said: “His passing will leave a gap in Hastings plus all the visitors will miss him as they used to like to take photos of him and he never tired of posing for the cameras.
“There will be a big gap in this year’s Hastings Carnival.”
Mr Saunders last saw him on Sunday at the town’s Pirate Day and described him as “bright as a button”.
He added: “Have a nice rest Ron with the angels and we will never forget you.”
Deal Carnival will take place from 7pm along The Strand on Thursday, July 27.
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