We are sad to report the demise of
our founding Squire, Peter Stephens.
Peter died recently of multiple
organ failure after some years of limited mobility.
As the person largely responsible
for the establishment of Stafford Morris Men
in 1957, he was a mainstay of the
club for over 50 years and was reinstated as
Squire for our Golden Anniversary.
He has acted as a dancer, a musician, foreman
and keeper of the logbook. He has
supported many other Morris groups and he has
been a mainstay of the folk dance
scene as a caller and organiser for many years.
He will be badly missed by many who
have benefitted from his help and frienship.
On Friday 11th November, 10.30 a.m. at
Stafford Crematorium, a large group of people gathered to
celebrate Peter's life. Indeed, there was standing room only
for many of the folk, which, as the celebrant said, was
remarkable for someone of Peter's age.
After a review of his life and some
comforting words, there was a Poem about the Morris
Dance. Then tributes were paid by Andrew, Peter's son,
and John Edwards , who was one of his students in the
1960s. a well as being a Stafford Morris colleague for
over 40 years. (click here for text). That was followed
by a performance of 29th May (Headington), by Stafford
Morris Men to the tune Royal Oak, (All things bright and
beautiful). The music was by Gordon Taylor (fiddle), who
had been with Peter from the start of Stafford Morris
men in 1957, and Geoff Morgan (melodeon). This was
followed by further poetry and the committal. Exit music
was again played by Gordon and Geoff, with a collection
in aid of the Air Ambulance.
The wake was be held at Stafford
Rangers Football Ground, Astonfields Rd, Stafford.
Family and friends from many of Peter's interests
gathered to reminisce and acknowledge the dept that they
owed to him. This group included founder members of
Stafford Morris, Dennis Stansfield and Mark Berry, and
members of many music and dance groups that he
supported. Early Scrapbooks prompted memories and quote
a few dances, both Morris and Country. There was a
buffet, hot drinks and a
bar whence those present avaiied themselves whils
thethey celebrated a life well spent.
Stafford Morris Men are members of the
Staffordshire Heritage Group, which covers the Historic County of
The group's design for the county flag, (shown below), was registered by the
Flag Institute after a public vote.
Stafford Feast 2016
Yet another successful evening with
all the Ring officers present for the first time. Adam, the Squire;
John, the Bagman; Stephen, the Treasurer and Ed, the Squire apparent.
Excellent food, drink, and good company in this historic village hall at
Church Eaton. Three new members were admitted by Max Haynes, who then
formally handed over the Squire's regalia to Professor Alan Eardley, who
agreed to pilot the club into its sixth decade.
Alan Eardley, together with Louis
Arduino, David Barker and Sam Forrester danced in to a Princess
Royal double double jig.