We regret to inform you of the death
of our President, Mr Alfred Eley on Christmas Day 2016
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.
Master of Stafford Guild paid a tribute to Alf, the founder and long
term master of the Guild.
service was be followed by a family committal at Stafford
No Flowers, but a
collection will be made for charity.
We regret to announce the death on May 10th
of one of Stafford's most charismatic characters ,
T Merlin Maddock, MBE,
Charity worker, Craftsman, Inventor, Harp-maker and Benefactor, Burgess of
and resident of Pontycymer South Wales.
His funeral was at the Tabernacle Chapel, Pontycymer at 1 p.m. on Friday 22nd
It was a moving and emotional day.
Over 200 packed into the chapel across the road to hear heartfelt and amusing
The Burgesses' Banner was processed before the coffin as he requested.
A Merlin Harp was played at the start of the service.
set up a
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
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 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.
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 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.
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'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
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.
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 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
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 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.
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.
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.