23 May 1921 to 11 November 2013
Stan was a man of irrepressible enthusiasm, optimism and just sheer zest for life.
While physically less able in later life, never having fully recovered his mobility after a hip replacement, his mind was as lively as ever right up to the end; even after he left Didsbury to start a new life down south at the age of 89. Moving down to Shepperton, Middlesex, to be close to his younger son Stephen and daughter-in-law Heather, he threw himself just as enthusiastically into his newly-adopted church down there. Making it clear before he moved that he would keep to his Anglican roots, nonetheless he got thoroughly involved with this very non-conformist church: and soon knew plenty of people in Shepperton.
It was a great surprise to all that he settled so conclusively in the Home Counties at the age of 89. Not only was Stan a northerner through and through, he was also a Yorkshireman and made sure everybody knew it.
The Morris family had originated in Cheshire before settling in Manchester as blacksmiths; his father’s family moved out of Gorton to seek employment in Huddersfield, where Stanley was born on 23 May 1921 in what was probably a group of converted farm buildings overlooking the village of Newsome. Like many houses of those days they had gas lighting, a coal fire and a cooking range, no bathroom and an outside toilet which was shared with neighbours. His father was a gear cutter at David Brown & Sons in Lockwood. His mother suffered from TB and died when he was seven.
He started school at the age of four and was lucky to survive a severe bout of pneumonia when he was six. He joined the choir and scouts at St John’s Parish Church, Newsome. Moving on to secondary school at Huddersfield College, Stan discovered an aptitude for sport and became goalkeeper in the school second team. He was also his house swimming captain and joined Hall Bower cricket club juniors, where he became an opening batsman and wicketkeeper.
He and Marjorie Crosland met on the tram to school; he drew her attention to him by stealing her school hat as she went down the tram steps, a painful experience for her as he managed to grab a handful of her thick hair at the same time. Nonetheless they became friends and were to marry in 1944, both wearing military uniform for their wartime wedding.
Leaving college in 1936 Stan started work in the Electricity Accounts department at Huddersfield Town Hall and he joined the Home Guard in May 1940: in later life he likened himself to Private Pike in Dad’s Army. He was called up into the RAF in June 1941 and found himself working on the newly invented Radiolocation (later Radar). He was promoted to Corporal in May 1942 and became a member of one of two experimental teams of Mobile Radar units preparing for the landings in North Africa. He landed with the 1st Army but was injured in Alexandria and returned home.
Both he and Marjorie were posted to Norfolk in 1945 and were able to live in rented accommodation in North Walsham though in 1946 he was posted to the north coast of Unst, the most northerly Shetland Isle.
Marjorie found them a house in Cross Lane, Newsome, and Stan went back to his job in the Borough Treasurer’s Department in Huddersfield Town Hall. He was put in charge of the relatively new Powers Samas punched card system: an early form of computer.
He took up football again and even had a game with Huddersfield Town second team when their goalkeeper couldn’t get to the game. He let in four goals against Blackburn Rovers and wasn’t asked again! Their first son, Peter, was born in February 1947.
In 1949 Stan got a job at the Chester office of the Merseyside & North West Electricity Board, converting their Billing and Costing processes to punched cards, and the family moved to Chester in 1950. They joined Holy Trinity Church in Chester where Stan sang alto in the choir. Their second son, Stephen was born in August 1955.
In 1958 the family moved again, as Stan got the job of mechanising the processes of the Joint Matriculation Board in Manchester. For a few months he travelled daily from Chester but in August they moved to Gaddum Road, Didsbury, where they joined St James’s Church. Stan became a member of the PCC under the Rectorship of Rev Ron (Cherry) Weaver.
Cherry Weaver retired around 1971 and was succeeded by Peter Akehurst who prepared the way towards renewal in his short incumbency. Stan and Marjorie became more involved in the church. In 1974 Peter Akehurst left St James and was replaced by David Hallett. The Rector of Emmanuel also retired and the Diocese decided to bring the two parishes together. Stan and Marjorie became very much involved with the merger, in particular helping their contemporaries to adapt to the major changes which it entailed, and they became hosts and leaders of one of the church’s first Home Groups in 1977.
Stan retired from the JMB at Christmas 1985, as Marjorie had been diagnosed with lung cancer. In January 1986 Marjorie developed a brain tumour and died on 26 February 1987. They had been married for 43 years and it was almost 50 years since their first date on 30 March 1937.
Stan continued his association with church and became a churchwarden for the second time. He also became a member of the pastoral support team, began to lead a Home Group of older church members and helped in the team providing lunches to the needy. He also helped as a studio assistant with the BBC Daily Service at Emmanuel church and joined the parish office team on a part-time basis. He moved to a flat in The Beeches, off Barlow Moor Road.
He had been determined to maintain an active life after Marjorie’s death and undertook some round the world trips, visiting family and friends. He also travelled extensively in Britain and began to discover mainland Europe and the Holy Land too. When not travelling he worked on a voluntary basis for Nurses Christian Fellowship International.
In January 2007 he moved across Barlow Moor Road to a retirement flat in Parkfield Court. His mobility was beginning to fail by then, but he still kept very active until suddenly deciding to move south to Shepperton in October 2009. There Stan became thoroughly involved in the local community and in the local church where his son Stephen was an elder. He quickly became a familiar figure dashing around the local High Street at considerable speed on his mobility scooter.
After a splendid ‘State Visit’ to old haunts and family in Huddersfield in August 2013 Stan suddenly became less well. His death came when he was staying with his older son Peter and his wife Jane in Wolverhampton. The family were together in Wolverhampton when he died, officially of bladder cancer, which he had kept at bay for some years: in reality it seems his body had just decided it was time to give up. The funeral was held at St James’s, where he kept large numbers of his old friends and family waiting as the hearse from Wolverhampton had accidently gone to the wrong church. The family often think of the conversation which would’ve gone on between him and the hearse driver had it been possible for him to make his views known…