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Mourners bid fond farewell to Black Country historian Stan Hill

By Megan Archer | Dudley | News | Published:

Hundreds of mourners turned out to say their final goodbyes to beloved Black Country author and historian Stan Hill.

People lined up outside Gornal Wood Crematorium to say goodbye to Stan Hill

The former headteacher and councillor died last month, aged 90, following a short illness.

And around 200 people attended Gornal Wood Crematorium to pay their respects on Wednesday at his ‘celebration of life’ – all wearing bright-coloured clothes at the family’s request.

Stan Hill died last month aged 90

Friend and fellow local historian John Sparrow said it was “a great appreciation of a very kind and experienced man”.

He said: “I think there were about 200 people there – people were stood round the side it was so crowded.

“Everyone loved Stan, he was a help to so many people. If you called anyone to ask about any aspect of the Black Country, everyone would say ‘ring Stan Hill’.

“He was a hub for everything in Black Country history. His funeral was a great appreciation of a very kind and experienced man.”

Stan's trademark cap was placed on his coffin

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A wake followed at Himley Hall, attended by local historians, authors, librarians, friends and family.

Mr Hill died at Russells Hall Hospital on January 16. He lived in Lawnswood Avenue, Wordsley, for 50 years.

A former headteacher in Dudley and councillor who represented the Brierley Hill area, he was well-known for his passion in promoting the region and it’s history – being honoured as “the boy from Bent Street Infant School that made good”.

Stan's trademark cap was placed on his coffin

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Mr Hill was born in Brierley Hill on March 21, 1929, and grew up in the town.

During his teaching career he was a leading light in education nationally and was in charge of the Dudley Teachers Centre, in Himley, which was then at the forefront of many curriculum projects in the 1970s.

He served as president of The Black Country Society Kingswinford Branch; was chairman of Mary Stevens Hospice trading company; chairman of the Black Country Local History Consortium and became the editor of the Black Countryman magazine in 1989.

Stan with his wife Jean who passed in 2014

He also wrote a number of local history books including the hugely popular autobiography Stan Hill’s Brierley Hill and Life; Brierley Hill in Old Photographs; and Wordsley Past and Present.

His wife of 59 years Jean passed away in January 2014. He leaves behind daughters Sheila, 60, and Mandy, 54, and grandsons Stuart, 34, and Scott, 26. He also had a great-granddaughter Lucia, who is one-year-old.

Mr Hill donated the £2,000 profits from Stan Hill’s Brierley Hill and Life to Mary Stevens Hospice trading company after compiling it as a sequel to his 1995 volume Brierley Hill in Old Photographs.

His friend John Spally is now planning to write a book about his friend Mr Hill, who he called “a pillar of the Black Country”.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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