Son pays moving tribute to late Hitchin Churchgate director

The late David Payne was passionate about delivering the Churchgate development.

The late David Payne was passionate about delivering the Churchgate development. - Credit: Archant

The son of the director of the business which owns a prominent Hitchin town centre shopping precinct has paid tribute to his father, who passed away unexpectedly last week.

David Payne, a director of Hammersmatch which owns the Churchgate shopping centre, was 69.

His son Graham, who is also a director of the company, said: “My father was the founder and owner of Hammersmatch, and his loss has been felt both professionally and personally by myself and everyone here.”

The precinct has been the centre of long-running facelift proposals. Graham said: “He was passionately devoted to his work and wanted to see the development through to the end.

“His passing is a very big loss to us all – 69 is no age at all and we are all extremely saddened.


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“He would have wanted us to continue with plans for Churchgate and we intend to see it through to its conclusion.”

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