Family celebrates Stan’s life with touching tributes
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Last Saturday morning, hundreds of mourners paid their respects to Stan Robinson: an industry legend who will be missed and remembered fondly
Words: Roger Brown
STAN ROBINSON made his final journey on Saturday morning, with hundreds of mourners turning up at St Chad’s Church in Seighford to pay their respects to the haulage legend. Robinson died on Good Friday, aged 70, just a week after being diagnosed with cancer.
His coffin was brought to the Staffordshire church on the back of a Kenworth, which Robinson had spotted and bought while on holiday in Florida.
As the coffin was carried into the building, one of Robinson’s favourite songs, Frank Sinatra’s My Way, was played.
Reverend Andrew Hetherington, who led the service, told the congregation how Robinson bought his first wagon in 1970 and started transporting bricks to Liverpool, bringing back corn. The company expanded to employ 330 people, run 180 trucks, and add depots in Glasgow, Durham and Devon.
He added: “Stan left school as soon as he could at 15, with the words of one teacher ringing in his ears: ‘Go and earn yourself a living with your hands, there’s no point doing it with your head’.
“Stan loved saying that years later, when he had built up a successful haulage business.” Robinson met his wife Flo at a village hall dance in Great Haywood, and the couple married in 1962. They had three children, Pauline, Mark and Ian, who all followed their father into the transport firm. Robinson was also a grandfather of eight and a greatgrandfather to two.
In a series of touching tributes from family members read out at the service, Flo said: “Thank you for being the best husband I could have ever wished for.
“You were always there for me, and for our family. Nothing was too much trouble for you. We will always be so proud of all you have achieved.” His sons fondly recalled the times they would watch local football team Stafford Rangers with their dad and have a chat in the evening over a glass of whisky. The company was the main sponsor of the football club for 12 years, with Robinson a director from 2001 to 2004.
Younger generations of the Robinson clan talked about his “gentle eyes”, and how they loved getting shoulder rides from him as small children. One granddaughter recalled how proud she was when he drove her to a school prom in a Reliant Robin.
A charitable man
Reverend Hetherington spoke about the numerous charities and good causes that benefitted from Robinson’s generosity over the years, one of which was Katharine House Hospice in Stafford.
The minister also recalled how Robinson liked to play bowls, or go to his local, the Hollybush, for a pint and a game of dominoes. In his final months, he had been involved in a campaign to buy back the Hollybush, which became a restaurant three years ago, and reopen it as a pub.
Following the hymn Amazing Grace, the coffin was taken out of the church doors, on its way to Stafford crematorium, to the sound of another Robinson favourite: Tina Turner’s Simply the Best. ■