Stafford Burgesses

You have reached
the web site of

The Stafford
Freemen's Guild


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This is the place to learn about the past and present activities of holders of this ancient office.

The Web site for the Coton Fields Allotments - the major asset of Stafford Burgesses is

Stafford Burgesses now have a Facebook presence at

This Company of Freemen or Burgesses is a historic and ancient body committed to the County Town of Staffordshire:
The Borough of Stafford

The Stafford Burgess is an occasional publication to tell Burgesses and others what we have been doing recently. To see the latest, (dinner), issue of  click this link
We have had an invitation to a Ceilidh arranged to support the Mayor's Charities. It is on 21st February at the Polish Club, Riverway.

It has been decided to leave members to make their own arrangements for this event.

Our very popular Guild Skittles Night is on the 13th March 2015. 7-00 for a 7-30 start. Venue is the Constitutional Club in Lloyd St.
Click Here for details and Menu

Stafford Burgesses are amongst the sponsors for a visit by

Carol Anne Duffy

Poet Laureate and former Stafford resident.

We have some tickets for the event and hope more Burgesses will attend

this event is organised by the

Friends of St Mary's Church Stafford.

Click the poster
for details

The Guild Annual Dinner was held at the Post House, Stafford on Friday 30th January 2015.
Some 70 Burgesses and their guests, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Stafford, gathered for a very pleasant evening. Good food and good company were followed by some toasts by the Master and the Mayor. A raffle saw the usual strange distribution of prizes and the evening was rounded off by some excellent entertainment by "Ricky", who stepped in at the last minute. Overall, it was another successful event arranged by our Social Secretary Ray Spurway, to whom we express our thanks.
Click here for more pictures
Burgesses representatives attended the
Mayor's Charity Ball at the County Showground.

The picture shows some of the guests at the event.


This year the Guild participated in the
St Mary's Christmas Tree Festival

There was considerable interest in our tree and our
organisation by many of the 5,000 + visitors to the event.

The tree showed various items of our regalia together with information about the Burgesses and a copy of the
Charter that King John gave to the burgesses.

The master was rather surprised to be
complimented on the tree as engineers
are seldom allowed to produce artistic creations!

The tree was kindly sponsored by our
Pontycymer Burgess Merlin Maddock,
of "Magic Workshop" fam


The Burgesses joined the Mayor and a large number of Stafford folk to walk the perimeter of the town, as it was 400 years ago when the Mayoralty was established,
The Mayor's Sergeant enlightened the company about many historic aspects of the route.

It was an interesting experience, if a little overwhelmed by all the other activities in the town, prior to the switch-on of the Christmas lights.

At various points the walkers encountered Stafford Morris Men dancing to entertain them, accompanied by the Guild Master in another of his roles as the Hobby-Horse, which certainly pre-dates the Mayoralty and probably even the burgesses.


After the Boundary Walk


Another Honour for Merlin.

John Edwards, Master of the Stafford Burgesses, travelled to Pontycymer, near Bridgend, to present Merlin Maddock, MBE, with the Gold Badge of the Stafford Freemen's Guild.

Merlin, was one of Stafford's best known characters in the 50s, 60s and 70s, with his charity work and stunts raising money and support for needy people in the town, often assisted by the late Lord Lichfield.

He went back to his home village to continue harp making and other enterprises, but maintained his interest in our county town. He was sworn in as a Stafford Burgess in 2005 by Mayor Frank Findlay and has been a keen supporter ever since, despite more than his fair share of ill health.

His "Magic Workshop" is an amazing place and his current project is to build a replica of the plane designed by a former resident of Pontycymer in 1904. That challenge saw him on 'The One Show' last year and John was surprised to find an almost complete aircraft squeezed into the workshop. He aims to tow the plane to establish if it would have flown, but says he does not propose to kill himself by trying to fly it down the mountain, as his predecessor could have done!

Merlin's earlier ventures into manpowered flight in Stafford did not meet with great success, but gave everyone a lot of pleasure,

Although he has Parkinson's and mobility problems Merlin remains as upbeat as ever and it was a pleasure to acknowledge his ongoing contribution to Stafford and the Guild.

Merlin receiving the badge and certificate from John Edwards.

Merlin with the plane scheduled to fly in 2015


Stafford Guild hosted this year's
AGM Weekend for the Freemen of England and Wales
from 19th to 21st September 2014
 at Yarnfield Conference Centre

Click here for a report

The Freemen and their guests outside St Mary's Church, Stafford

If you want to try the quiz that the delegates were given click here
For Paul Milgate's pictures of the Sunday morning click here If using them for anything other than personal use please acknowledge the photographer.

For better quality versions contact Paul on

For a quick summary of the Burgesses' organisation, activities and responsibilities click here

To learn more about Stafford Burgesses click the links below.

Guild Representatives after the Battle of Britain Commemoration 2014

Guild members at St Mary's awaiting the Battle of Britain Event

There was a Swearing-in Ceremony for new burgesses on Thursday 31st July 2014 in the County Council Chamber, Martin Street, Stafford
Fourteen burgesses were sworn in at this ancient ceremony, (pictures later).

The Guild was well represented at Mayor-making on May 10th 2014. Despite the traditional rain it was a splendid occasion marking 400 years since the installation of Mathew Craddock, the first Mayor of Stafford.

Stafford Guild is in the North Midlands Area of the Freemen of England and Wales. Click here for details

The Master and Deputy attended the FEW Court Meeting on Saturday 15th March 2014 at the Freemen's Holt in Leicester

The Courts are where the business of FEW is conducted and reports received from Officers and Wardens.
Sadly they are not well attended, but the picture below shows some of those at the latest meeting.

Stafford Guild is a member of the Freemen of England and Wales

Click the badge to access the FEW Web Site

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