'A true gentleman': Tributes as former Stafford mayor dies aged 89
A former Stafford mayor who served the community for decades has died aged 89.
Trevor Reeves died on October 3 and his funeral was held today at St Patrick’s Church.
On the day of his death and earlier this week a black flag was flown at half mast from Stafford Borough Council’s Riverside offices.
Alderman Reeves’s civic career pre-dated the current Stafford Borough Council by several years. He was first elected to the town’s previous authority, to serve the Coton ward, in the 1960s, before going on to serve the Holmcroft area in the 1970s and Milford from 1987 to 2011.
He was Mayor of Stafford Borough from 1982 to 1983 and was named an Honorary Alderman in 2016 in recognition of his civic service.
Alderman Reeves’ late wife Margaret, who died in 2011, also served on Stafford Borough Council, representing the Castle ward from 1991 to 1995. She was Mayoress in 1982.
Stafford born and bred
Born in Stafford’s Red Lion Street in June 1930, Alderman Reeves was the eldest of two children. The Staffordian was educated at St Patrick’s School, where he became a governor in later years – as well as being a governor of Blessed William Howard High School in the late 1960s and 70s.
During his boyhood he joined 8th Stafford St Patrick’s Scout troop, rising through the ranks to become its Group Scout Leader.
In June 1946 he became an apprentice at English Electric, where he became chief project engineer. He spent most of his working life at the company, with the exception of his National Service, which was carried out in the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in the early 1950s.
He followed his father by becoming a director of Stafford Rangers Football Club.
Alderman Reeves’ council work included chairing five committees, including recreation, and he went on to become cabinet member for housing. He was a driving force behind the building of the former Riverside Recreation Centre.
In the 1980s he was also appointed vice-chairman of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, and was involved in the commissioning of the new Stafford District General Hospital and handling a major outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease. And he served as vice-chairman for many years of the English section of the West Coast Rail Upgrade Pressure Group.
Alderman Reeves became a Freeman of the Borough and an active member of the Burgesses from the mid 1990s.
Stafford residents and former council colleagues alike paid tribute to the great-grandfather on social media following the announcement of his death.
Councillor Bryan Cross, who currently represents the Holmcroft ward alongside colleague Jonathan Price, said one of Alderman Reeves’ major achievements for the borough was overseeing the handover of the authority’s housing stock to Stafford and Rural Homes more than a decade ago.
He said: “Trevor was the cabinet member for housing and saw the process through, including the consultation and the vote taken by the residents.”
“He was a gentleman through and through and a very good politician. It was a real pleasure to know him.”
Borough and county councillor Ann Edgeller said: “When you think of Trevor you think of a true gentleman. He was hard working, very conscientious and cared about the community.”
Councillor Mike Smith, deputy leader of Stafford Borough Council, said: “I knew Trevor for many years. During my employment at English Electric in the early 1970s we worked together to deliver projects within the factory, Trevor from the Property department and myself from Production Engineers.
“Trevor had been a councillor for many years when I was elected in 2002 and we rekindled our working relationship. His experience helped many new councillors understand their role.
“Trevor was the cabinet member instrumental in the council’s decision to set up a housing association which became Stafford and Rural Homes and later he was chairman of the Leisure Scrutiny committee to my cabinet role in the Leisure department.
“He gave many years to the community as a councillor and this was justifiably recognised by his elevation to Alderman. He will be missed.”