|Guild Events 2016|
|Guild Dinner report and pictures later.|
|Guild Events 2015|
Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary's Stafford
|Guild Summer lunch at Tillington Hall Hotel. (report awaited)|
Guild attendance at the Coton Fields Open Day. (report awaited)
|Guild Boat Trip from Stone to Aston Marina. (report awaited)|
|Another enjoyable Skittles Night at the Cons Club on 13th March 2015|
Our very popular Guild Skittles
Night was held on the 13th March 2015. 7-00 for a 7-30 start.
Venue was the
Constitutional Club in Lloyd St.
Click Here for details and Menu
We had an invitation to a Ceilidh
arranged to support the Mayor's Charities. It is on 21st February at the
Polish Club, Riverway.
It was decided to leave members to make their own arrangements for this event.
The Guild Annual Dinner was held at the Post House, Stafford on Friday 30th January 2015.
The Annual Meeting of Burgesses, to review the actions of the
Trustees, was held on Monday 19th
Minutes will appear on this web site when approved by the trustees. Click here for Previous Minutes
The Freemen of Stafford attended and laid a wreath at the Civic Remembrance Ceremony on 11th November.
Sixteen members, most in robes were on parade making it our best turn out for some time.
The AGM of the Stafford Freemen's Guild was be held in the Borough Council Offices at Riverside on 20th November.
The Christmas Lunch was held at the Constitutional Club on Sunday 16th December. Another pleasant social gathering.
The Guild attended the Civic Carol Service at St Mary's on December 16th with robes well in evidence.
The Annual Dinner took place at the
Post House, Stafford on Friday 31st January 2014
Click here for the Annual Dinner Pictures here shortly
|Click here for the Skittles Evening.|
The Annual Meeting of the Burgesses with the
Trustees took place at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday January
in the Walton Room of Stafford Borough Council at Riverside, (so that the Mayor could chair the event).
There were 20 burgesses plus the Mayor present and the meeting went well, apart from the intervention of Mr Roe, who once again rambled on about his Freeman status and seemed determined to accuse the Scribe of "hounding him". Actually, the scribe had not spoken to him since last year, when the subject of his status was only raised by him. In court the parties were not allowed to converse, so hounding seems inappropriate. The Mayor declared his comments outside questions on the reports presented and told him to sit down.
Other business was transacted harmoniously with the following Trustees elected.
John Edwards, Roger Harrison, Ken Tillett, Neville Scattergood, , Ray Spurway and Alan Watkins.
Guild Events 2013
|A highly successful Christmas Lunch was held at the Cons Club. (details and photos to come)|
The AGM of the Guild was held at
the Borough Council Offices at 7.45 p.m. on 19th November 2013.
This was preceded at 7.30 p.m. by an EGM to agree some minor constitutional changes. (Click here for details).
The Master and
Ray Spurway recently visited Stafford Hospital to present a gold badge and
certificate to Derek Glover, who was Guild Secretary for many years.
Derek has not been in the best of health for quite a while, but we were pleasantly surprised how well he looked, given that prospects recently were not looking good. We wish him well with his recovery. In the light of the current highlighting of the improvements at Stafford Hospital, it was again pleasing to hear the very positive comments from Derek about the treatment he has been receiving there.
The social occasions of two
Narrow Boat Trips from Stone Marina on August 16th and another on 6th
September were pleasant events and helped to bring people with interests in
the Guild together. Thanks again to Ray, our social secretary.
Details from: email@example.com or 01785 256104 or 148 Crab Lane, Stafford, ST16 1SP
The Guild Summer Lunch was
held at "The Luck Penny" on Crab Lane on Sunday 30th June at 1 p.m.
with some 40 members attending.
It was another pleasant social occasion and the opportunity was taken to present Hughie Shirley with his Gold Badge.
Thanks once again to our Social Secretary, Ray Spurway for making the arrangements.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 01785 256104 or 148 Crab Lane, Stafford, ST16 1SP
The Annual Guild Dinner 2013 took place on 31st January at the Post House in Stafford. Guests of Honour were the Mayor and Mayoress of Stafford, Councillor Brian Cross and Mrs Lilly Cross. Also in attendance were the President of the Freemen of England and Wales, Mr Alan Fallows and Mrs Val Fallows. some thirty Freemen and their guests enjoyed a convivial evening at this pleasant venue.
The Annual Meeting of Burgesses to review the Trust and appoint new trustees
on Monday 21st January 2013 in the Borough Council Offices.
Freemen Trustees were acknowledged for the sterling work they have
undertaken over many years.
Retiring Chairman, Derek Luker and retiring Clerk, Ian Pettifor are seen with long term trustees; Mick Nowoskowski and Reg Rowland, together with the Mayor of Stafford, Councillor Brian Cross, who Chaired the meeting.
Guild Events 2012
Stafford Burgesses pose for a picture after the 2012 Remembrance Parade
Members of the Guild, in
their robes at St Mary's Church for the Mayor's Service.
The Freemen's Court
Fourteen new burgesses sworn in by Mayor Brian Cross
More pictures here
For information and some pictures of various Guild events click the topics below
The skittles evening on June 15th was well attended and enjoyed by all
The Annual Burgesses Meeting to review the activities of the Trustees and appoint new trustees was held on Monday 16th January 2012 under the chairmanship of the mayor of Stafford. Only some 25 burgesses attended or sent apologies, despite some 100 letters being sent. However, the main source of concern, namely the disposal of asbestos sheeting on the allotments site was well aired and he actions of the the trust were accepted by those present.
Minutes of the meeting can be accessed here
After an election, (the first for many years), the current trustees were reinstated.
For information and some pictures of various Guild events click the topics below
|The Guild Christmas Lunch was on Sunday 4th December.|
|Return of the Mercian regiment|
|The Remembrance Day Parade was on 13th November.|
|The 2011 Guild AGM was held on Wednesday 16th November.|
|A Swearing-in Ceremony or Freemen's Court took place on Wednesday 27th July 2011.|
|Stafford Guild hosted a Court on June 11th 2011 at Church Eaton Village Institute|
|Stafford Guild hosted the F.E.W. AGM 4th to 6th September 2009.|
The CHRISTMAS LUNCH was well attended with over 40 people enjoying good food and good company. Arthur, had things well organised including copies of what people had requested, as lots of us forget. The meal was served quickly and hot and I heard no complaints, which is quite remarkable. It was good to have our president with us as he had not been well and had a hospital visit pending. It was also nice to see a table of this years new burgesses attending and hopefully this will help to breathe new life into the Guild's social programme. We also had a good number of our regulars who we look forward to seeing at these lunches.
The raffle was quite a major event as people had been very generous in providing a good selection of liquid and solid prizes. The Master mentioned that he had visited Merlin Maddock a short while ago and told the assembled company that Merlin was proudly wearing his Stafford Guild regalia whenever possible. He also announced that, as Merlin could not attend the Christmas Lunch, he had donated a nice bottle of whisky for the raffle. Hardly surprising it was the first prize item to be selected. We were particularly grateful to all those multiple winners who said "draw again", so many people went home with some excellent Christmas presents.
Overall this lunch was judged to be a very enjoyable social occasion and a good start to the festive season.
We were invited to attend the Borough's appreciation for the work done by the MERCIAN REGIMENT in Afghanistan. Considerable crowds lined the route and some 15 freemen and friends were in attendance with our flag flying, not dipped amongst the serried ranks of the legion standards, but as we are keen to make clear, we are not a military organisation. We were proud to add our applause and thanks to the lads and lasses of our local regiment, who put their lives on the line in the interests of our country.
The 2011 REMEMBRANCE CEREMONIES took their usual form with a gathering of the invited representatives of the borough. This time, due to the hospital enquiry occupying rooms at Riverside the meeting was at the County Council buildings in Martin Street. The Master and Deputy joined the civic dignitaries while Ray Spurway took our standard to the War Memorial. Regrettably, due to both John and Ant being away for the preceding week and other council members being unavailable, it proved difficult to obtain a wreath as we have done in past years. but we were represented at both memorials and the standard was presented during the church service.
As usual the parade started late, despite the church deciding to cut out a hymn to speed things up. This time we had fourteen burgesses on the march, which is quite good for this event, even though it is a poor representation of the number of freemen in the town. It was gratifying to have a number of the recently sworn burgesses attending to swell our ranks. The reception afterwards was, as usual, a good opportunity to meet influential people and tell them about our organisation. We were surprised an somewhat heartened to have the Lord Lieutenant say he was "pleased to see the Stafford Freemen looking so resplendent in their robes". We are getting there!
The ANNUAL MEETING OF BURGESSES was held at the Gatehouse Theatre on January 17th at 7.30 p.m. It was chaired by the Mayor of Stafford. This meting is the opportunity for Burgesses to hear the reports of the trustees and appoint new trustees to manage their primary asset, the allotment land at Coton Fields.
There was a poor turn out considering the importance of this meeting to the Freemen of the town.
Remembrance Sunday had a poor turn out from the Guild as many of the regulars were away or unwell. However, the flag was paraded and a wreath laid on behalf of the Freemen.
Funeral Malcolm Wooley
Mayor Making parade
Sunday Lunches held in April, July and September.
Deputy Master appointed FEW Warden for North Midlands
Wreath laid and participation in Remembrance parade
The FEW AGM was held at Stafford in September. (details elsewhere)
The above Notice appeared in the Staffordshire Newsletter.
Potential Burgesses must contact the Borough Council, not the Guild, but we hope to interest new Freemen in our organisation after their swearing-in.
This year there were several social gatherings:
The Annual Dinner when we were joined by the Mayor and Mayoress, but sadly not by the Master, who was taken ill on the plane bringing him home in time for the dinner. We are happy to say that his problems were quickly resolved and he is now full recovered. He did however miss the excellent meal the pleasant company and the enjoyable disco music which brought the event to a close.
A visit to the waste incinerator plant at Stoke was very interesting and enlightening for the small number of seven freemen who attended. The only question on everybody's lips at the end was "Why are there not more of these plants around the country?"
The attendance at the Remembrance service and parade was very good with some 14 participants marching behind the freemen's banner, which was also presented in church for the first time. It was also the first occasion when we laid a wreath at the Borough war memorial.
After the ceremonies the Banner was returned to its new home, namely its specially made case in the Walton room of the Borough Council.
Two quiz evenings taxed the brains of the participants under quizmaster Derek's strict judgements.
A Barbecue at the Deputy Master's house was well attended and much enjoyed by all. Good food, good company and good weather (apart from the rain that is!).
The Guild Council met regularly to organise the events and we were represented at the Mayoral Parade, the battle of Britain service and at the Annual general Meeting of the Freemen of England and Wales.
It is hoped that a swearing in ceremony will take place soon to admit more qualified people to the ranks of Burgesses and maybe welcome them to the Guild.
We are also looking at robes, which will bring us in line with other guilds and hopefully help to raise our profile, both in the Borough and Nationally.
Royal Visit 31st March
A representative group of guild members were privileged to be able to see Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh at close quarters during their encounter with a number of borough organisations in St Mary's Garden of Remembrance. We were very fortunate that both the Queen and the Duke came to talk to us.
While one group explained to Her Majesty who we were and Merlin wished her well for her forthcoming birthday the conversation between the Duke and the Deputy Master went something like this:
D "Who have we here then?"
DM " King John granted the Stafford charter to the Burgesses -"
D " - and you are the Burgesses?"
DM "We are the current burgesses."
D "So you are not the originals then?"
DM "No, even though we may look 800 years old !"
observed the contingent's beards, so Merlin explained that we had entered a
Santa Claus contest and the DM won.
(Apparently Ant Piddock came second and he came third.)
Graham, Ian, Ant, Merlin, Fred, Terry and John represented the guild.
It was not considered good form to ask her majesty to pose with the group.
Things are progressing well with the regeneration of the Coton Fields Freemen's Allotments and the site is at last looking cared for.
The new Committees for the Guild and the Trustees are hard at work dealing with administrative and social activities.
A FREEMEN'S COURT
was held on
Wednesday 6th April.
as per the notice below
Details of the event are given elsewhere on this site.
Following the court 15 of the 21 new burgesses were admitted to the Freemen's Guild.
Some also expected to exercise their right to cultivate an allotment on the Coton Fields site in due course.
Following the court Jack Kemp sold signed copies of his book and kindly donated the proceeds to the Guild.
Jack Kemp is shown here presenting Merlin Maddock with his copy of
"The Freemen of Stafford Borough 1100 to 1997"
At the April Guild Council meeting, it was
agreed that the Guild should participate in the celebrations of May 2006,
when the 800th anniversary of the Charter would be commemorated by the Borough.
Our heritage secretary had to clarify the date, as the local paper had given the impression that the event was to be held this year.
Clearly this was a misunderstanding and we now have sufficient time to prepare our part in the event.