News

Popular vendor Graham Hoile remembered with plaque on his Heavitree plaque

Known as the ‘Face of Fore Street’ on his pitch, Graham tragically died aged 67 in May

Graham Hoile

Much-loved Big Issue vendor Graham Hoile had such a huge impact on his customers that they have teamed up to place a plaque at his pitch.

Known as ‘The Face of Fore Street’ during a decade selling the magazine outside the Co-op store in Heavitree, Devon, Graham tragically died after being struck by a train in May.

The 67-year-old, known as ‘Paddy’, had been street homeless and battled addiction for many years before his death.

Graham Hoile plaque
Graham-Hoile-plaque-Heavitree-Co-op
The plaque was installed on Graham's pitch in November

In the last two years of his life, the Irishman got sober and found a place in supported housing. This allowed him to pursue his passion for cycling and he saved £1,000 of his earnings from selling the magazine to buy an electric bike.

He’d sold the magazine since 1992 in St Austell and in London, but it was his spell in Heavitree that left the biggest impact on customers.

They generously rallied alongside Co-op staff in the wake of Graham’s death to raise £180 in-store towards a plaque tribute which was placed on Graham’s pitch in November.

Richard Parker, Co-op Heavitree store manager, told The Big Issue: “Graham was very popular with customers and he used to shop in the store himself.

“He wasn’t pushy and was always helpful, coming into the store to point out shoplifters. He is much missed.”

Sarah Parkhouse, Big Issue sales and outreach worker for Devon and Cornwall, said: “We are really grateful to the Co-op’s support for Graham. I know Graham was a big part of the community and his death hit them hard.

“The plaque is a lovely tribute and it is great that Graham will be remembered by his loyal customers in Heavitree for years to come.”

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
DWP under investigation over treatment of ill and disabled people on benefits after claimant deaths
Department for Work and Pensions

DWP under investigation over treatment of ill and disabled people on benefits after claimant deaths

Yes, inflation is falling – but nearly 90% of Brits say cost of living crisis is far from over
inflation/ cost of living/ supermarket queue
Inflation

Yes, inflation is falling – but nearly 90% of Brits say cost of living crisis is far from over

Is the cost of living crisis over and will prices in the UK ever come down?
Cost of living crisis

Is the cost of living crisis over and will prices in the UK ever come down?

Low pay as a trainee bus driver left me desperate. I skipped meals and ended up £46k in debt
james rossi, who faced debt
Cost of living

Low pay as a trainee bus driver left me desperate. I skipped meals and ended up £46k in debt

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know