A MAN who was homeless for more than three decades will have his struggle remembered in York for generations to come - after a new Minster grotesque was carved in his honour.

Norbert Lawrie has been selling the Big Issue magazine in York since 2016.

While working as a Big Issue vendor in Goodramgate last year, he was approached by Minster stonemason David Willett, 56, who said he was looking for new grotesque designs to replace the old faces.

Norbert suggested that the theme should centre around homelessness - and David said the idea resonated with him.

After listening to Norbert’s story of battling homelessness for three decades, he decided that a carving representing the struggle of homelessness on the Minster would help acknowledge “the scale of the problem we are currently facing”.

Norbert added: “To have something up here that acknowledges the hard work that vendors do in the north of England is incredible.

“It should be seen as a tribute not just to one particular vendor, but to all the people involved in this social enterprise that exists to try and help homeless people earn an income and start the recovery from homelessness.

“And it should be seen in terms of recovery because it is an ordeal, being homeless. I should know.”

The new grotesque is loosely based on an old carving, however, it now sits with a Big Issue magazine tucked beneath its arm.

David added that “it bears an uncanny resemblance" to Norbert.

Norbert - who now lives in a flat in York - said that the grotesque is the “icing on the cake” after a life of campaigning on homelessness.

He said: “To have something up on the Minster, where around the corner I slept in a shop doorway - it’s amazing.”