Trevor Stansfield recieving a quality status award on behalf of the council in 2005

Article by Piers Meyler: A Billericay community champion who was centre of town life for more than four decades has died at the age of 86.

Trevor Stansfield was a long-time member of the Rotary Club of Billericay, joining the club more than 20 years ago in 1997.

He was twice president, the last time in 2012, and served as youth officer and in other posts to serve both the club and the town.

He didn’t just support Billericay through his membership of the Rotary Club but was also a past chairman of the Billericay Town Council and past chairman and leading light in the Twinning Association, a past governor at Mayflower School, and previously chairman of the town's resident's association.

Richard Stansfield, his son, said:

“Dad was very proud and a family-orientated man. He was very kind, caring and generous and a keen supporter of the local community and much loved by his family. He was a true northerner and will be greatly missed.”

It was fifty years ago that Trevor and his wife Margaret, both from West Yorkshire, moved to Billericay. Trevor, who was born in Elland near Halifax was a chartered electrical engineer and worked for the Ministry of Defence and his work was covered by the Official Secrets Act.

Although Trevor never fully recovered from the loss of Margaret in 2003, he did find some consolation in the voluntary work that he took on.

For some years, he was editor of the Resident Bulletin which was distributed around Billericay and when the Billericay Town Council was established, Trevor was voted on to the council and before long was appointed chairman, a post he held for several years.

A twinning town with Billericay was established in America – Fishers in Indiana, and so began a long period of friendship for Trevor and the Johnson family in Fishers.

Trevor made several visits to America as part of the towns' connection with each other and, of course, the Americans visited Billericay.

He enjoyed clay pigeon shooting and was a ham radio enthusiast.

Peter Greene, the president of the Rotary Club of Billericay, said:

“From a personal viewpoint, I joined the Rotary Club of Billericay shortly before he became president, and he was a mentor to me in my early years, asking me to be community services chairman for the club and always willing to give a helping hand in whatever I undertook. Personally, it is a great loss to realise that he will no longer be part of our club, of our community. He will be greatly missed.”

Rev Margaret Fowler, associate priest at the Christ Church, Billericay, said:

"I have known Trevor for many years but got to know him much better when I joined rotary a couple of years ago where I often sat on the same table with him at lunch. Trevor also used to pop across the road to Christ Church to "Drop In", a coffee morning for the retired, where he met up with a number of friends. I would often chat to Trevor about community projects that we were proposing at Christ Church and he always encouraged me to press forward and would offer me names of contacts who might be able to help us. There was a tremendous honesty about Trevor. He had his own views on particular topics but always acknowledged that, as a priest, I might hold a different view from him (I often didn't though!). He didn't attend church regularly, but was interested in chatting about faith and would come to special services if we invited him. I was so delighted when he supported me by attending my licensing service at Christ Church last November. I will miss him a great deal. Trevor worked tirelessly for the community and he always stayed interested in what was happening in Billericay even though he had retired from public life."

Peter Owen, another member of the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower, said;

“For nigh on 40 years Trevor and I shared friendship, rivalry, agreements, disagreements, laughter (yes, he could laugh) but through it all an overriding mutual respect. It began around 1980 when Trevor was chairman of Mayflower School Parents Association and I was his opposite number at Billericay School. Together with his beloved late wife Margaret he went on to serve the community in so many ways with enthusiasm and dedication. This Yorkshireman cared so much about the Essex town he had adopted whether it was as a long-serving official of the Residents Association, first chairman of the town council he fought to create or as champion of Billericay’s partnership with the town of Fishers and so much more. He strove to make Billericay a better place, and he has earned his rest. Job done"

Another club member, Trevor Bond, said;

"I spent happy hours with him at the Belvedere listening to some good jazz we shared together – and, when I was in a shooting day at Fyfield, he promised to take me back and teach me to hit the targets. Sadly, he never did. He could be a funny man and squeezed between two lovely ladies in the back seat of our car to Tilbury for a President's Day Thames Barge trip, he kept us all in fits of giggles as he extolled the virtues of a rose between two thorns - or was it a thorn between two roses!! And he could be generous. At Peter Strong's Music in the Garden I was asked to join Trevor and his family for a picnic that would have graced a royal garden party. Now, who will draw my winning raffle tickets on a Monday? Or argue the political toss about Brexit? Or why Arsenal don't win anything any more? I shall miss him."

Trevor, 86, leaves behind two children and two grandchildren.

His funeral will be held on January 26 at Christ Church in Billericay, followed by a service at Bentley crematorium in Brentwood.

Article by Piers Meyler, EssexLive

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