Street tribute to hero David

Friends and relatives, left to right Kim Herkes, Niamh Doyle, Jim Muirhead, Gary Forbes, Trevor Taylor, Awdri Doyle, Jim Michael
Friends and relatives, left to right Kim Herkes, Niamh Doyle, Jim Muirhead, Gary Forbes, Trevor Taylor, Awdri Doyle, Jim Michael

Campaigners are delighted that a street in Gorebridge has now been named after the local hero who helped to catch a notorious child killer.

David Herkes spent most of his life in Gorebridge before retiring to Stow. His quick thinking there in July 1990 led to the capture of serial killer Robert Black, saving the life of his neighbour’s six-year-old daughter. Police had spent over a decade hunting Black, and if it hadn’t been for Mr Herkes’s swift actions Black could have preyed on many more young girls.

Mr Herkes passed away in 2012, aged 75. Last year Gorebridge bus driver Gary Forbes (49), started a campaign for a street to be named after Mr Herkes in the town. Having received local support for the plans David Herkes Way was unveiled earlier this month on the site of the former Greenhall school.

Gary said: “It’s brilliant. I got a message from David’s daughter Awdri saying thank you. The street name was unveiled five years to the day since his funeral and it would have been her mum and dad’s wedding anniversary as well, so it was an emotional day for the family. Awdri thanked me for co-ordinating this campaign, it means a lot to her and the rest of David’s family.

“The local community are over the moon, people are saying it’s great to have this tribute to him, it’s all been very positive.

“His family and friends are all delighted. David was so well respected in Gorebridge.”

While living in Gorebridge at Swan Crescent, David was a private hire taxi driver before running an undertakers on Main Street for many years.

Gary added: “I just thought that when Robert Black died we should have been remembering David Herkes, and it just snowballed from there.

“I’m just glad that David has now been recognised in this way.

“People will remember him for a long time to come, David brought a man to justice and gave closure to the victims’ families and he also stopped other kids from being attacked. Plus he saved that wee girl’s life in Stow, let’s not forget.

“The community council down there are delighted as well. The girl’s family also gave their support and backing to our campaign.”

Midlothian South councillor Jim Muirhead, depute leader of the council, said: “I was delighted that the community’s request to name the new street in Gorebridge’s Greenhall development after David Herkes was accepted.

“David Herkes Way is a fantastic tribute to someone who was a hugely popular and highly respected member of the local community in Gorebridge. It’s great to see the sign now in place.”