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Obituary: Stanley Newman – A True Guildfordian

Published on: 21 Feb, 2021
Updated on: 22 Feb, 2021

Stanley Charles Newman, a true Guildfordian, has died aged 81.

He was well known as a plumber and also as a local historian and author of two books about Guildford.

Stanley Charles Newman. Click on pictures to enlarge in a new window.

Born on July 5, 1939, at St Luke’s Hospital in Guildford, his early life was spent living in Harts Gardens, Stoughton, before the family moved to a brand new council house in Willow Way on the then-new Bellfields Estate. His parents spent the rest of their lives living there.

Known to many as Stan, he went to Northmead Boys’ School and in his youth was a star player for Stoughton FC. He was a lifelong supporter of Manchester United football club, watching them at Old Trafford and even matches abroad!

The Doolahats with Stan Newman on washboard.

He also loved music and his friends formed one of Guildford’s first skiffle bands called the Doolahats. Stan played washboard with them among a number of different band members.

He was also an active member of the Guildford Crusaders youth group for boys and enjoyed their camping trips.

Realising he was never going to be the next Elvis, he became an apprentice plumber for the long-standing firm of Pollard Bros, of Stoke Road, later going on to run his own successful plumbing and heating business for over 50 years.

Stan met his wife June on a skiing trip to Austria organised by “Aunt Sylvia” of a Guildford youth group. June was working as a staff nurse at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Farnham Road.

They were married on March 27, 1965 at St Nicolas Church, Guildford.

Early married life was spent at 2 Acacia Road, where they welcomed their children Belinda and Paul. They soon moved to Winterhill Way in Burpham, where Stan and June spent the rest of their lives.

Stan had a real passion for history, particularly of his beloved home town of Guildford, and loved collecting photos and researching its history. He was a regular visitor to the Guildford Institute to look through its archives and also to Guildford Museum.

He wrote some articles for the Surrey Advertiser’s history page From the Archive, but had so much information stored in his little office at home that he was persuaded to write a book about the town.

Cover of Stanley Newman’s book Guildford The Changing Face.

After much ‘blood, sweat and tears’, Guildford The Changing Face was published by Breedon Books in 2002.

It was so well received that Stan was persuaded to write a second title; Guildford Life Past and Present was published, again by Breedon Books, in 2008.

He was immensely proud of these achievements for a lad who left school at a young age with no formal qualifications.

Stan loved the company of others and enjoyed learning about other people’s lives. He had many friends in Guildford and many loyal customers through his plumbing business.

It was often the case that he went on to do work for his customers’ adult children and grandchildren.

Stanley Newman’s book Guildford Life Past And Present.

Stan was a proud member of the local fundraising Winkle Club. Its members based themselves at the Grantley Arms in Wonersh, and over the years raised many thousands of pounds for good causes.

They held many charity events in aid of the Jigsaw School, an independent day school for children and young people with an autism spectrum disorder and now based in Dunsfold.

The Winkle Club members also raised money for a new bathroom suite in the childrens’ ward at the current Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.

Stan also enjoyed playing squash on Wednesday evenings at the Guildford Sports Centre in Bedford Road, and also watching Surrey play cricket at the sports ground in Woodbridge Road.

He will be greatly missed by so many people and Guildford has lost a true son. Deeply loved and cherished by Belinda, Paul, Debs, Aimee and Katie.

Stan’s funeral will be at Guildford Crematorium at 9.45am on Monday, March 8. Because of Covid restrictions, only 17 people will be allowed to attend. However, the service will be streamed live online.

For details email daughter Belinda Newman at

The family ask that any donations can be made in Stan’s name to the Alzheimer’s Society.

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Responses to Obituary: Stanley Newman – A True Guildfordian

  1. David and Jill Searle Reply

    February 22, 2021 at 8:34 am

    We are so sorry to learn this – and we remember many happy times in our youth when my brother Roger was with him in the Doolahats.

    He lived a good life until his latter years. A great and kind gentleman.

    • Belinda Newman Reply

      February 22, 2021 at 12:47 pm

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Dad remembered those times very fondly. He gave me a love of music and particularly Buddy Holly.

  2. Philippa Gallacher Reply

    February 22, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Fond memories of Stan when he used to come into the Bulls Head at Chandon where I worked behind the bar. Ever the gentleman.

    I even have a book he signed for me. ❤️

    • Belinda Newman Reply

      February 22, 2021 at 12:50 pm

      Thank you Philippa for your kind words.

      “Where’s Dad? It’s Friday night? … The Bull’s Head!”

  3. Michael Phair Reply

    February 22, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    A good friend and true gentleman.

    We had some good old chin wags in the Bulls Head at Clandon and the Grantley Arms in Wonersh about old Guildford and Guildford City Football Club.

    One of life’s good guys who will be sorely missed.

    • Belinda Jane Newman Reply

      February 22, 2021 at 12:54 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Michael.

      Best wishes. Belinda Newman

  4. Philip Hutchinson Reply

    February 22, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Rest in Peace, Stan. The world is a lesser place without you. Thank you for being a friend.

  5. David Rose Reply

    February 22, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    I first met Stan when my friend Steve Moore (excellent builder) recommended him to fit a new bathroom suite at our house.

    This would have been in the early 1990s and Stan I became friends and soon discussed and shared details of local history.

    My wife always referred to him as ‘Uncle Stan’ and he continued to be our plumber as and when required.

    When it was obvious Stan had lots of material for his first book, I recommended him to Breedon Books of Derby who had already published four of my books on Guildford history (the first two co-written with Graham Collyer).

    Stan’s two books are excellent, they sold well and were well received.

    For people who had a passion for Guildford history, especially those who were not academics like us, Stan came up with the name of a society for us all to belong to – The Guildford Anoraks!

    There was no official membership, no list of names, and no formalities. In fact, all people with same down to earth history interests were members, even if they didn’t know it.

    Many times I have had the pleasure of informing like-minded people of their membership and them being an ‘anorak’ (a person who has a very strong interest, perhaps obsessive, in niche subjects. This interest may be unacknowledged or not understood by the general public) – some being totally bemused by it all.

    That was the kind of humour Stan and I shared.

    I would like to take this opportunity to point out many of you reading this will also be Guildford Anoraks.

    • Belinda Jane Newman Reply

      February 22, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you for being his friend… and leading him astray! (Do I really mean that?!).

      With grateful thanks. Belinda x

  6. Martin Giles Reply

    February 22, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    I was kindly introduced to Stan through David Rose and have a fond memory of spending some hours perusing old photos of Guildford in Guildford Museum with them.

    Like many others, I was immediately struck by his friendliness, his knowledge and his good humour. He was genuine and, as many others have said, he was a true Guildford gentleman.

    It was always good to see him.

    PS And if sharing his interest in Guildford’s history makes me an “Anorak” I am proud to be one!

  7. Sue Hart Reply

    February 22, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Richard and I first met Stan when we moved to Winterhill Way in Burpham in 1980. We were neighbours.

    Stan not only became our plumber but also a friend.

    We have had many laughs over the years, he was such a lovely person.

    We also shared the interest of Guildford history.

    RIP Stan. x

  8. Justin White Reply

    February 22, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    My sincere condolences to Belinda and the family.

    It was a pleasure to have known and indeed help Stan [at Repropoint] and he will be sadly missed.

    A true gentleman and Guildfordian.

  9. Jan Messinger Reply

    February 22, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    I am delighted to have Stan’s books about Guildford like many others.

    Also, to read so many people with such kind words of an obviously well-liked man.

    Guildford is a lucky town to have been blessed with Guildfordians who we can be proud of who sadly have died in recent months.

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