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Obituary: Stan Wade – ‘true gentleman’ was a parish and district councillor for decades

Stan Wade
Stan Wade

FOR more than three decades Stan Wade, who died last week aged 89, served Hythe and Dibden as both a district and parish councillor and a respected community stalwart.

He spent 36 years serving on New Forest District Council having first been elected in 1979, alongside 32 years on Hythe and Dibden Parish Council, enjoying a spell as chairman of both authorities.

Stan helped set up the Hythe Community Association by managing to obtain two buildings from refinery operator Esso, affectionately named ‘Stan’s Shed’, and they became Hythe Community Centre and brought local residents, clubs and organisations together.

He also helped kickstart the short mat bowls club that still runs in the local parish hall and was instrumental in setting up the Citizen Advice Bureau and Age Concern in Hythe. He became a trustee for the latter and helped it get the funds to move to its current location, the Horrill Centre.

When Hythe fire station was at risk of closure, Stan sank his teeth into a push to save it by using parish council funds.

Stan was also part of the successful campaign against development on Dibden Bay, a proud member of the national park authority, an organiser of popular tea dances in Hythe, and part of the Forest Front Nature Reserve group.

“He was a true gentleman, and a very special man who cared deeply about the community he lived in,” said his son, Malcom, who is also a local councillor.

Born in Gateshead In 1932, Stan was the only child to Stanley and Doris, and the family moved to Manchester in the late 1930s.

He undertook national service in the RAF where he set up a jazz band to entertain his fellow airmen. He met Kathleen – known as Kath – in 1952, and they married in 1955 with their only child, Malcolm, born a year later.

After leaving the RAF he worked at Glovers Cables next to the Old Trafford home of Manchester United. Stan was one of the first people in the UK to be told of the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, having taken the original message to relay to the football club next door.

Stan had been friends with some of the players who died, and told of playing football in the parks of Manchester with some of the Busby Babes.

In 1963, Stan got a job at Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) as a work study engineer, and the family uprooted to Hythe. They moved to Jessop Close, near the marina in 1969, where he and Kathleen lived for over 50 years. Stan worked at STC for over 30 years before retiring in the mid-1990s.

In recent years, Stan and Kath fostered and rehomed dogs, especially pointers, all over the New Forest. Stan was often seen walking their dogs in Jones Lane Park.

He played golf, taking lessons in his sixties, enjoyed watching cricket and football, was a longtime member of a Hythe Working Men’s Club, and enjoyed a Sunday pint of Mackesons with his family.

Malcolm said: “He was someone who looked at what Hythe needed and strived to achieve this, from the community centre to the Citizens Advice Bureau, and he worked with others to make things happen.

“Most of all, he just cared passionately about helping people.”

Stan leaves his wife, son, two grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

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