Farewell to Easebourne stalwart

John Stringer
John Stringer

JOHN Stringer who spent his life at the heart of the community in Easebourne, has died in the village where he was born.

John who was 84, and his twin brother David were born at Lutener Road in 1931, into a family of five children.

He died last Tuesday, October 20, less than a mile away, at Birch Trees Residential home after a long illness.

John and his brother went to the village school and both won scholarships to Midhurst Grammar School.

They did National Service at the age of 18 and then John started work at what was then the London County Council, training to be a chartered municipal treasurer.

In 1965 the Greater London Council was created and he transferred to the new authority where he became chief internal auditor and financial adviser to the GLC housing committee.

It was there he worked with the man who was later to lead the authority - and become London’s first mayor - Ken Livingstone.

But Livingstone’s high-spend socialist policies put the GLC into direct conflict with Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government. And in 1986 it was abolished, most of its powers were devolved to the London boroughs and at the age of 55, John lost his job.

Back home, where he and his wife Diana had brought up their four children, other responsibilities were beckoning him.

He was asked to advise Midhurst Grammar School on running its own budget and already a parish councillor, he was elected Chichester district councillor for Easebourne serving for eight years.

He served on the parish council for more than 20 years following in the footsteps of his father and for part of those two decades, was its chairman.

It was also the last office he relinquished in 2012 when he bowed out due to ill health.

He was for many years, chairman of governors at the grammar school and also until his resignation in 2011, a trustee of two charities associated with the former King Edward VII Hospital.

He was a passionate supporter of Midhurst and Easebourne United Football Club, as a player, as treasurer and he and Ted Dummer, for many years prepared the pitch together.

He was very proud when in 2013 the club held a tribute night for him and Ted at Cowdray Golf Club.

He also played cricket for Easebourne.

John was an active member of the parish church where he was christened and married.

He was a choir boy and also rang the bells when his father was captain of ringers.

Mr Stringer’s family connections with Easebourne began when his grandfather became farm bailiff for the Earl of Egmont, former owner of the Cowdray Estate.

He leaves his wife, Diana, four children, Phil who is married to Nicci, Patricia married to John, Gill married to Bruce and James married to Rhona.

He also leaves nine grand children George, Molly, Ben, Lucy, Ellen, Imogen, Tamsin, Lottie and Toby.

The funeral is on Thursday, November 12, at 11am at St Mary’s Parish Church.

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