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News Archive

Sad loss of a President and dear friend

Stan & Sylvia

It is with real sadness that we have to report the passing of our Honorary President Stanley Spencer.
Stan died peacefully in his sleep from old age on Saturday 3rd October 2015.

Städtepartnerschaft Chairman Prof.Dr.Reinhard Kuhnert:

Dear friends,

“On behalf of the Schwäbisch Gmünd Twin Town Society let me express our deeply felt sympathy on the occasion of Stan's passing away recently. He was your second chairman after Arthur Williams, honorary president, a very good friend and supporter of the town twinning idea in the understanding  of Arthur - that town twinning is twinning people and thereby making them friends. He helped to stabilize our relationship over the decades which is a value in itself.

It is a sad occasion for us all. Yes, Stan even was an old friend - in fact, we have known him as long as our two Twin Town associations exist. In German we say "Ein Mann der ersten Stunde"! (a man at the very beginning)

He seems to have passed away while sleeping,very peacefully which is a wonderful thing and a real blessing for him.
I cherish this most wonderful picture of him and Sylvia (which I took around 2006) to remember him and his dear Sylvia.”

He always enjoyed a glass of red wine and many a Wednesday evening was spent with John Bennett watching football on TV and having a good ‘natter’ over a bottle of his favourite Trollinger mit Lemberger wine.

"It was Stan and his wife Sylvia who introduced Diane and I to the Barnsley Schwäbisch Gmünd Twin Town Society.” 
John tells me, “Stan was passionate about promoting the links of friendship between the two towns and he took every opportunity to do so. I will always remember him for his courteous manner and he always greeted you with a sparkle in his eye and a firm handshake.  We have not only lost a President but also a very dear friend."

Stan and Sylvia became great friends with Wine and Winfried Baum after first meeting them at a beer festival in Schwäbisch Gmünd in 1983. A year later their first visit with their son to Barnsley as guests of Stan & Sylvia saw the start of a wonderful friendship lasting over 30 years and extending through all of Wine & Winfried's family.

Winfried recalls happy times;

“In 1987 Stan became Chairman of Barnsley Schwäbisch Gmünd Society, in the summer of the same year we travelled privately to attend Stan and Sylvia's Ruby wedding. In 1991 Stan and Sylvia attended our daughter's wedding. A year later and our daughter and her husband came with us to Barnsley. Alex and Achim stayed in Stan’s caravan in their garden.
In 1997 we had a private invitation to Stan and Sylvia’s  "Golden Wedding" celebrations.”

“There were numerous other visits both to Schwäbisch Gmünd and Barnsley outside the society visits, Stan & Sylvia became ‘part of the family’ to us."


"He kept us amused with his dressing up in costumes for the various carnivals or Mayors parades. He surprised us every time, one year it was Quasimodo, another time it was as a mole, to dig the Schwäbisch Gmünd tunnel as fast as possible, we laughed so much !”

“When one of our usually long evenings with Stan and Sylvia finally drew to an end and the ‘night cap’ had been finished, Stan always used to say “away to the woods“ or “wash and brush up” before he went to bed.”

“Over the years Stan and Sylvia got very well known in Herlikofen as they had visited us so often. On their walks many people including shop and restaurant owners knew who they were and where they were staying.”

Stan’s last visit to Schwäbisch Gmünd took place in 2011 following the death of Sylvia in 2009. He even took part in some of the activities when the Verein Städtepartnerschaft visited Barnsley in 2012.

It is plainly clear that Stanley will be sadly missed by a great many people.

Whether it’s his moustache, his famous hat, appearing dressed as a mole or the sparkle in his eye or firm handshake you remember, no one will forget the tireless work he did for our two societies.

Stan was one of a kind, a true gentleman, passionate about our twinning and the many, many friends he made.

Stan, we thank you and salute you.
Cheers ! 

Stan's funeral service will be held on Monday, 19 October, 11.30, at Ardsley Crematorium, Doncaster Rd, Barnsley, S71 5EH.


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