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We regret to record the deaths of the following Stafford Burgesses.

Our condolences go to their respective families and friends.

We regret to inform you of the death of our President, Mr Alfred Eley on Christmas Day 2016

The funeral was a Requiem Mass on Thursday 5th January 2017 at St Chad's Church, Stafford at 12.30.

Burgesses attended with many in robes, along with a packed church.

The service was led by the Rector of Stafford and Rev Michael Fisher a long term friend.

John Edwards, Master of Stafford Guild paid a tribute to Alf, the founder and long term master of the Guild.

The service was be followed by a family committal at Stafford Crematorium.

No Flowers, but a collection will be made for charity.

We regret to announce the death on May 10th 2015 of one of Stafford's most charismatic characters ,

T Merlin Maddock, MBE,

Charity worker, Craftsman, Inventor, Harp-maker and Benefactor, Burgess of Stafford
and resident of Pontycymer South Wales.
His funeral was at the Tabernacle Chapel, Pontycymer at 1 p.m. on Friday 22nd May 2015. 

It was a moving and emotional day.
Over 200 packed into the chapel across the road to hear heartfelt and amusing tributes.
The Burgesses' Banner was processed before the coffin as he requested.

A Merlin Harp was played at the start of the service.

 We know it's not conventional to take pictures of coffins, but when did he do anything conventional?

 Sadly, the door closes on the Magic Workshop.

 Interred next to his mother who died giving birth to him. Reunited after 80 years.

 Probably the only person to turn up at the pearly gates with his own home made harp!

Rosanna Lewis, who lives nearby and helped to look after Merlin, has set up a "Just Giving" page to collect money for the Parkinson's Society in memory of Merlin.

To donate, please click this link.

Peter Emberton

1937 - 2013


The Burgesses Banner was carried at Peter's funeral in Great Haywood, which was fitting for someone with a great sense of history and a particular love of his native Stafford.

The tributes kept coming from those who had known him, in some cases since boyhood, and the picture emerged of a man who had excelled in many fields and earned the love and respect of all who he encountered.

He was sworn in as a freeman under birthright: appropriate for someone who had traced back his family connections in the town for may hundreds of years.

Peter was an allotments trustee and his common sense linked with a great sense of humour lightened up many a serious meeting. Recently, with his illness causing him breathing difficulties, he had not been able to attend, but remained interested in our affairs to the end. The packed church was a testament to his popularity and the courageous and touching tributes by friends and members of his family conveyed how much he will be missed.


Keith Crutchley

September 2012


Keith was one of the Freemen who helped save the Coton fields allotments from being sold for personal gain in the 1990s. However unlike most others he stuck with the project as a trustee for many years. Not only a regular attendee at trust meetings, but as the trusts principal representative on the allotments. He did a fantastic amount of work as part of the regeneration programme and was largely responsible for establishing and maintaining the orchard.

We had the pleasant task of presenting him with the first "Gold Badge" ever awarded. Sadly, it had to be in his hospital bed, but he was delighted to receive it, as he was always proud of his Stafford Freemen status. He took the responsibility of looking after the assets of the freemen to the best of his ability very seriously and always refused any payment.

Keith will be missed, not only for is support and common sense at trust meetings, but on site where his work lives on. A memorial bench and tree have been installed in his memory.

Malcolm Wooley  

On 9th June 2010 we said goodbye to Malcolm Wooley. He was associated with Stafford for most of his 76 years, but the family had military associations and that meant going where his father was posted. After his own service in the army he continued his engineering career, which like so many in Stafford included an English Electric apprenticeship. That gave him the right, under Servitude, to be sworn in as a Freeman of the Borough. He was a regular participant in Guild events, including parades, where his red Military Police beret was distinctive. That was until the past few years when Alzheimer's took its toll on both Malcolm and his family. We have all lost an important contributor to our lives.

Arthur Moseley


Arthur was a regular attendee at our events and, until recently, joined us proudly on the remembrance day parades. His recent illness prevented him from participating in the lifestyle that he had long enjoyed. Always a good raconteur he was interested in many subjects, but seldom talked of his own activities. It is a sad fact that only at funerals does one become aware of the talents and  achievements of people like Arthur.

The freemen were represented at his funeral and the family were pleased that the Guild Banner preceded the coffin at the crematorium, as he was proud to be a Burgess of the Borough of Stafford and a keen supporter of our aims to preserve its heritage.

Peter Newbold


We have been informed of Peter's death, but have few details as he has, for some time, been based in Leicester. He had been keen to remain a member of the Guild and anxious to support our aims even if he could not get to many events. We would welcome more information from family or friends, to whom we send our sympathy.

Roy Mitchell


Roy's death came as a shock to many of us, as he has recently attended Guild Council meetings and presented his apologies at the AGM. We were aware of his illness but were not aware of its seriousness. Roy had been a stalwart member of the Council for several years and during 2005 was largely responsible for the revision of the Constitution, which was accepted at the EGM in November. In that, as in anything he did Roy was meticulously concerned with the correct detail. He was always on hand in the background to ensure that things were done properly and on many an occasion pointed out some fact that the rest had overlooked.  As with John (above), Roy's approach was always that of the gentleman, never forceful, always friendly, but certainly not someone to be ignored. His passing is a loss to the Guild as it is to the many people who knew him.

Roy's funeral service was a Requiem Mass at St Anne's Church, Weeping Cross, Stafford. The large congregation included a number of Guild representatives who, unsurprisingly, learned of the vast range of talents that Roy brought to bear in many fields. These included the Scout Organisation, the Amateur Athletic Association, (both as a participant and an administrator), the church, Family history, community projects and most of all his family.

After the service a short committal ceremony took place at the crematorium. The many mourners gathered after the service at a buffet, where they shared memories of Roy and his many roles. The Guild banner was put on display as a mark of respect and we were told of his pride in being sworn in as a Burgess of Stafford on the basis of his engineering apprenticeship at English Electric.

John Bristow


John was for many years a member of the Guild Council and was always a source of wisdom and experience. He will be missed by the Council, not only for his expertise in many unlikely fields, but for the quiet friendly way he guided us. Never one to push himself forward, it was reassuring to have him in our midst. He attended many of the social functions and was always a valuable asset to anyone's quiz team.

The Guild was represented at his funeral at Stafford Crematorium, where we were asked to carry the banner before his coffin. John became a Freeman by servitude, having completed his articles as a surveyor, and was well known in Stafford in his capacity as an estate agent. Indeed, a point made that he was that rarity - an honest and respected estate agent.

It also became clear during the funeral oration by Michael Heenan, a former Mayor of Stafford, just how many organisations he supported and how wide were his interests. As a volunteer warden on Cannock Chase he made use of another interest, namely Land Rovers, to bring the countryside to those who could not easily reach it. With involvement in the British Legion, various freemasonry and professional groups, as well as his commitment to family and friends leaves us wondering how he had time for them all. However each group present referred to him as a valuable supporter and a true gentleman.

Ray Boyles



Ray was a relatively new member of the Guild, but gave support to many of our functions and was a keen supporter of our objectives.  Ray had an engineering background and served his apprenticeship as a Toolmaker at English Electric.  He was for many years a key member of staff at St Leonards Works and attained the position of Area Sales Manager.  He was very well liked by all who worked with him and was always warmly welcomed by his customers.

Ray had many interests including golf, having been a past captain at Stafford Castle Golf Club.  For many years he was an active member of Stafford Operatic Society and took part in many of their productions.  Whilst at school and during his National Service with the RAF, he was a keen amateur boxer with a mean punch as many opponents experienced.  Having attended King Edward Grammar School he was a member of the old Edwardians and indeed was their President at the time of his death.  He will always be remembered for his fanatical addiction to “The Archers” and only missed three episodes of the serial.

His funeral was held at the small church of Brocton, where he had lived for much of his life. This meant that many who attended to pay their respects were unable to get into the church.  Ray’s cheerful personality and friendly counsel will be much missed by family and friends alike.

John Deakin Details awaited
Gordon Ferneyhough Details awaited
Dennis Follows Details awaited
John Morrall Details awaited
Thomas Shirley Details awaited
George Bailey Details awaited
Trevor Wilson Details awaited
Albert Arnold Details awaited
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