Hurstpierpoint has a fair few very recognisable residents, and who no doubt get stopped for a chat often on their way to the Co-op. Lucy Webb has yet to reach this level of local fame, but met with a man who is high on the list of VIP village people.
By Lucy Webb
My children often gasp at Kevin Carey as he walks down the street with his wife, Margaret. Partly due to spotting him in church and partly because of his trademark beard and windswept hair, they often whisper: “look mummy, it’s Jesus!” Actually, they rather shout this loudly, as whispering is a tone reserved for plotting against parents, but no doubt Kevin takes this kind of attention in his stride.
He and Margaret invited me to their house for a chat, and I was shown to Kevin’s ‘snuggery’, as he calls it. It’s an amazing room, a conservatory that looks out onto the rooftops of Hurst high street, the perfect hub for Kevin’s many and varied projects. His walls are lined with classical music and Braille books, and in front of him sits his keyboard, a specially adapted computer he is working on getting manufactured at a fraction of the current market price. More about that later.
Kevin tells me: “I have four jobs, and the one I care about the most is being a lay minister in Holy Trinity Church. I preach and teach there, and being a Christian is the most important thing in my life.”
Kevin is also the chairman of the board of the RNIB, commuting often into London to work at the charity which supports blind and partially sighted people. I’ve often wondered what it must be like for a blind person to enter the mayhem of a London commute, but he tells me that the staff at Victoria know him now, so they help him through barriers without being asked.
I ask the question that I’m assuming often goes unasked in our very British way, how do people react to his blindness day to day?
- full article printed in April 2016 Hurst Life magazine -