The man with the bag on his head! Queen's Crescent mourns lovable eccentric Norman

'We've lost a big character'

Thursday, 27th January — By Harry Taylor

pics2022jan27 Image 2022-01-27 at 08.13.01 (19)

Norman Jackman was known for wearing a bag on his head [All photos: HVH Arts]

TRIBUTES have been paid to a man who became a much-loved part of the streetscape in Queen’s Crescent, follow­ing his death last week.

Norman Jackman, complete with customary bag on his head, became an essential regular feature in the area for generations.

He died in hospital after he was found collapsed in Gillies Street, near his home in Arctic Road. For many years, Mr Jackman had suffered from encephalitis.

Norman Jackman in Queen’s Crescent

Residents and businesses around Quee’s Crescent had taken him to their hearts as a well-known eccentric.

Born in 1959, Mr Jackman had a spell working at the Royal Mail depot in Regis Road, before delivering newspapers for Bill’s newsagents and later sweeping outside Arctic Motors near his home.

“He was a good person,” said Kiran Patel, who runs Bill’s

“He always wanted to help, and he delivered news­papers for us for many years. He would talk to himself, but he never did anything wrong.”

Kevin Waller, of Arctic Motors, had helped Mr Jackman with paperwork and paid him for sweeping the yard at the front.

“Norman has been around for years,” said Mr Waller.

“He used to do the same thing every day and always come here. It doesn’t feel right – I still expect to see him. He was never any problem at all.

“He’d come in and ask for some help or some food, or we’d give him some money.”

He added: “He loved his football, and he used to be a good player years ago, and was a big Arsenal fan. He would stand outside the George [pub] and watch the games through the window.”

Former Lib Dem councillor Jill Fraser, who manages the Blue Sea fish and chip shop in Queen’s Crescent, said: “It’s such a shame because it’s a loss of one of the big characters in the Crescent.

“He was always nice, never nasty or frightened anybody. He would come into the chip shop and order chicken breast and chips, and he’d never want to be treated differ­ently to anybody else – he’d always pay. There’s always been a really mixed bag of people in the Crescent and he was a part of that.

“He was a big character and we’ll miss him.”

Funeral details are yet to be announced.

Related Articles