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tells me he was slightly apprehensive about meeting me. Neither will reveal their real name or remove their masks. “Where have they all gone? There’s usually loads around the public toilets,” says Blane, who is dressed in a full-body spandex suit, ski mask and a long, hooded, faux leather coat-cum-cape. Day patrol mostly consists of feeding the homeless and helping them out in any way possible. We eventually find a few and the heroes stop to buy them snacks. One recipient, Andy, who is covered in tattoos and has a chunk out of his ear tells them, “That’s lovely thank you so much. I hope people realise what you are doing.” Most are extremely appreciative of the chat and offer of food. “On day patrol we speak to the homeless and treat them like ordinary people, because it can’t be nice when they are sitting there and everyone is walking past just ignoring them, not even acknowledging them as human beings. So we sit, let them tell us their story, and if they need anything to eat we offer to go and get them something,” says Blane. Surprisingly the RLSH don’t receive the level of comments and abuse that I was expecting. Most people smirk and subtly point them out to friends. One family asks for a picture of Zacharia – who is dressed in a black spandex suit, skull mask

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and leather jacket – which he describes afterwards as “the best thing ever”. Blane was in Costa buying a panini for a Big Issue seller and is disappointed to have missed it. Their masks are, in fact, quite creepy and Blane admits that they don’t quite look like Spider-Man. “We’re not here to scare people though,” he says, although they have before, particularly on night patrol.

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ight patrol is where the action, if any, happens. The guys go out on Friday and Saturday nights in Dover or Hastings, sometimes joined by two other Hastings-based RLSHs, Animal and Nightwatch. The work mostly consists of breaking up fights. Blane says it rarely gets too physical, though, as most fights stop because the belligerents simply pause to laugh at him: “It’s not as action-packed as you’d imagine it to be honest. When you break up a fight it’s usually because they stop fighting to laugh at you and then you can talk to them, try and calm them down, have a laugh with them, tell them to have a good night.” “I haven’t been hurt yet. I know I will eventually but it will be worth it.” He carries a canister of Deep Freeze or Deep

The Eccentrist  

A new quarterly magazine that offers a ‘meander away from the mainstream’ by documenting the more unusual and offbeat people, places and ide...

The Eccentrist  

A new quarterly magazine that offers a ‘meander away from the mainstream’ by documenting the more unusual and offbeat people, places and ide...

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