Tears, smiles and memories at Doxey residents reunion

By Megan Archer | Stafford | News | Published:

Happy memories were shared at a reunion of past and present residents of a small estate.

Olive Spurway, aged 98, catches up with fellow Doxey resident Brenda Brown

Former Doxey resident Ray Spurway organised the get-together after his 98-year-old mother Olive fell out of touch with her friends in the area.

The 68-year-old said it was a “wonderful occasion”. About 60 people, all with links to the small estate of Doxey, turned up to St Thomas and St Andrew’s Church Hall to meet old friends and neighbours, view photos, and share memories.

George O'Brien was the vicar of Doxey from 1968 to 1988
John Homer with brothers Mike and Neville Rigby, who grew up in Doxey in the 1940s, with a piece of a WWII bomb that was dropped on Doxey

Mr Spurway, a retired civil servant, has held three other reunions before – one in 2007, 2009 and 2017.

And he hopes to hold another in a few years.

“It was wonderful,” said Mr Spurway, who now lives in the Crab Lane area of Stafford.

The Broadmeadow estate being built in 1949, pictured top right


A 1982 reunion snap of Harold Hanlon, one of the residents, pictured left

“My mum cried at the end, she got all emotional. There were a lot of memories there for someone who is 98.

“We had all these scrapbooks out which a lady called Arlene Skelton makes and updates each reunion. So people could look through them.”

Scrapbook organiser Eileen Skelton


An old photo from a 1975/6 Doxey school trip

Mr Spurway said he first decided to organise a reunion back in 2007 when he met an old friend of his mother’s in town.

“She was asking how mum was, and I asked if I could take a photo of her to show her. And when I did mum was wondering how all her other friends were.

"So I went home and said to my wife I wanted to get something organised so older people could reminisce.

Brothers Dave and Pete Hanlon catch up with organiser Ray Spurway. They all grew up together in Doxey
Ray Patel, left, and Iain Simpson discuss the Broadmeadow estate which was built in 1949

“And I think it was a great success.”

He added: “My mum just loves reunions. It was really lovely. I just looked round and watched everyone and it was lovely to see them turning the clock back.

"It doesn’t happen normally. You can’t just go to town and see someone, these reunions are important. I hope they continue.

“I want to thank everyone for coming, it was so pleasing to see everyone enjoying themselves.”

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email


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