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Walter Stanley

Posted: January 19th, 2021

WALTER STANLEY, former Mirror Group chief electrical engineer, died on January 16 [2021], aged 90. This tribute is from his family.

Walter joined the Mirror Group as an electrical engineer, aged 26, in 1956. He rose through the ranks and was promoted to chief electrical engineer 13 years later. With his promotion came an increase in salary to the princely sum of £3,500 per annum. The pay rise was very welcome, as by then he was married with a two-year-old daughter, and a second baby on the way.

Walter later became chief engineer of all works. He was dedicated to his job, which he enjoyed despite the later, more challenging years under Robert Maxwell. He was a family man, and took all three of his children to work at some point. We have childhood memories of views across London from Dad’s office on the seventh floor, and being overawed by the massive printing presses.

His achievements were especially remarkable as he left school aged 14. He started his electrical training with a five-year apprenticeship at The Bell Punch engineering company in Uxbridge. This was followed by National Service in the RAF, working as a ground electrical mechanic. After discharge he completed his qualifications at Willesden technical college night school, while working as a signal electrician for London Transport. He subsequently became a chartered engineer (AMIEE).

His discharge report on leaving the RAF in 1953 couldn’t have summed Walter up better, nor been a more accurate prediction of what his future held… “Competent, reliable and co-operative. He is keen and ambitious, and is studying for advancement. This attitude is a definite asset.”

Walter was lucky enough to enjoy 30 years of retirement lived to the full, and was in rude good health until the last year or two of his life. He learnt to play golf and bowls to a good level, and made long-lasting friends through these sports. Walter continued his interest in astronomy and built his own telescope. He attended a music appreciation course and enjoyed classical music concerts. He was a keen reader of non-fiction, including history, science and current affairs.

Walter loved spending time with his three children and his growing family of son- and daughters-in-law, grandson and an ever increasing number of great nieces and nephews. He became a great, great uncle a week before he died. His last year of life was marred by increasing frailty due to heart failure and dementia. However, he continued to enjoy the company of family and friends, and had a whole week of celebrations for his 90th birthday in August last year.

He was loved and respected by so many people, and will be remembered as a kind and loving gentleman, always well turned out, who looked for the best in people and gave the best that he had. He will be missed by all, and leaves his wife Christine, children Clare, Simon and Jonathan, and grandson Alex.

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