It is with great sadness that we announce the death on 8th June 2019 of Stephen Turner. Steve was Mayor of Winchelsea from 2013 to 2015.
A appreciation from Stephen’s cousin, Cllr Peter Turner, Chairman of Icklesham Parish Council.
Stephen was born when his parents were living in Sea Road, Winchelsea Beach. They moved back into the town when Trojan’s Plat was built in 1953, taking over number 1 Trojan’s Plat, which has been occupied by the family ever since. Stephen was educated locally at Winchelsea School in St Thomas’ Street and at Rye. A keen sportsman, he played cricket and football locally as a young man.
Like most of the young people brought up in Winchelsea, he moved away in order to follow his chosen career in banking, during which time he met and married Jo and they had two children, Geraldine and Michael. At the end of his career in banking, Stephen and Jo and family moved back to Winchelsea, where they took over the Tea Tree in the High Street (now occupied by the Winchelsea Farm Kitchen). Here they ran a successful business for a number of years. They also found time to play important roles in the social fabric of the Town. Stephen was made a freeman of the town and became a member of the Corporation. He was Deputy Mayor in 2010-11 and again in 2012-13. He was Mayor in 2013-14 and again in 2014-15, roles in which he was fully supported by Jo as Deputy Mayoress and Mayoress.
Apart from the skills he brought to these offices, Steve also used his well-honed financial skills to the benefit of a number of local clubs and societies for whom he became a valuable treasurer as well as an excellent committee member. He was treasurer to the New Hall Management Committee, treasurer to the Cricket Club, not mention his role in preparing the wicket for matches for many years, both playing and umpiring when required.
He took over the accounts for the Millennium Artefacts Society. In addition, he found time to be a valued member of the Icklesham Parish Council, more than ably representing the interests of Winchelsea and its residents from 2003 until he stood down at the elections in May because of his failing health.
On retiring from the Tea Tree Stephen and Jo moved into Trojan’s Plat shortly after the death of his father. For a while he worked part time for Winchelsea Farm Foods, whilst at the same time developing another part-time business, gardening and looking after some of the second homes and holiday homes in the Town.
In all of this he was ably supported by Jo who also took on roles in her own right, such as secretary to the Cricket Club and secretary to the Fete Committee after that was handed over by Garden Society to a separate Committee, as well as becoming curator of the Museum.
It is not just the residents of Winchelsea, but the residents of the whole of Icklesham Parish who have reason to be grateful for the time Stephen gave to the service of the wider community.