A TOUCHING tribute has been paid to George ‘the man with the trollies’ Bicknell who died on New Year’s Eve.
George, who was often seen around Solihull on his routes along Lode Lane into Shirley and Acocks Green, died from complications of Covid-19 after contracting the virus over Christmas.
The 82-year-old was believed to have been living on the streets since 1988 – around the time his beloved mum. Elise, died.
George, christened Sydney Haines, was the youngest of seven and was born shortly before the start of the Second World War.
His dad, George, died shortly after he was born and his mum worked as a hospital nurse.
The family lived in Longmore Road, Shirley, before moving to Edgbaston, then Small Heath and finally, close to the Radleys, Sheldon.
George’s dad and older siblings were in the armed forces and he was devastated when his father’s medals were stolen from him.
Libby Service from St Augustine’s Church was a friend of George. She said: “George was one of life’s survivors, and had lived through interesting and changing times.
“As well as being comfortable with nature, living on the streets was a way of coping for George, who had suffered from claustrophobia.
“He was by nature, peace-loving and quiet-living and he loved the sunshine.”
She added that as a youngster George demonstrated a flair for handy work and enjoyed fixing televisions and radios which he collected while he was living on the streets.
The Manchester United supporter George reportedly played for Sheldon’s football team at one time.
he also loved motorbikes and worked for Beresfords Steel Weldings in Tile Cross and other manufacturers in Coventry and Birmingham.
Libby said his favourite job was making deliveries all over Britain for various companies, and he loved stopping off at towns and cities, especially close to the seaside.
George attended Sunday Mass at St Augustine’s Catholic Church prior to the first national lockdown.
During the first national lockdown George stayed on the streets and became ill during the summer.
He was then admitted to hospital where he struggled with his physical and mental health as he lost what made him feel safe and secure.
Libby added: “God bless you George. Rest in peace. From all those who remember you fondly.”