Family and friends pay tribute to Tony Stevens - an inspirational uncle and man who did much to promote Scarborough

Family and friends of Tony Stevens have paid tribute to a man who was devoted to his family and helped promote the town in which he lived.

Friday, 18th September 2020, 10:11 am
Updated Friday, 18th September 2020, 10:13 am
Tony Stevens

Mr Stevens, who had battled leukaemia for 21 years, died in Castle Hill Hospital, near Hull, earlier this month.

He was a member of the Scarborough Chamber of Trade and Scarborough Civic Society, was president of the Rotary Club of Scarborough Cavaliers and was a volunteer with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

His sister Margaret King said: “My brother Tony had a wonderful dry sense of wit and humour.

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“He was always able to find humour even in the darkest of situations. His devotion to the family means that he will leave behind a void that cannot be filled.

“But the memories of our fun adventures together will stay with us forever.”

Mr Stevens lived in Seamer and ran his own photography and public relations company.

He had worked at Plaxton and Raflatac before setting up the business.

He was born in Middlesbrough in 1949 and the family moved to Guisborough, where Mrs King and her husband Sean still live, when he was 18 months old.

He attended Guisborough Grammar School before studying mechanical engineering at Newcastle University.

“He was a talented recorder player and the grammar school bought a flute especially for him so he could play in the orchestra,” said Mrs King.

“He and his friends always enjoyed tinkering with cars and he learned to drive early,” she said.

His first job took him to London where he worked for Hoover. He moved to Scarborough in the late 1970s to take up a job at Plaxton.

“Wherever he was he created a circle of friends. He was very good at keeping in touch with all of them,” said his sister.

Mr Stevens was close to his nephew Tristan and his nieces Eleanor and Felicity.

For each of their 10th birthdays he took them on a flight from Teesside to London to spend the day in the capital.

“Felicity only had to wait until she was eight – for all of them it was the first time they had been on a plane,” said Mrs King.

He spent every Christmas with his sister and her family and new year was spent at Mr Stevens’ home. “He would always be the one helping put together any toys,” said Mrs King. Because their father was poorly, Mr Stevens on her wedding day gave her away.

Mr Stevens always enjoyed photography and was a wedding photographer.

He also put together an annual tourism brochure for Scarborough.

“He was so inspirational and hardworking – those words have cropped up a lot in tributes to him,” said Mrs King.

Mr Stevens enjoyed badminton and taking part in murder-mystery plays with Limelight Company and performed across the north east.

President of Scarborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce Janet Jefferson said: “We will all miss Tony.

“He did a lot to help the Chamber – not least the yearly Chamber of Trade Booklet for 10 years. That’s not forgetting our annual Christmas shop window competition which many times despite not feeling well he joined me walking round and judging.”

He was Pickering Station master and ticket collector for the railway. Mrs King’s four-year-old grandson Dominic shares his love of locomotives.

Mr Stevens’ friend and retired physiotherapist Rhien Cocker was one of a group of friends who used to go walking with him each Sunday.

“He was a lovely person. Whatever he did he put his heart and soul into. He did a lot to promote Scarborough.”

Peter Cooper, chairman of Scarborough Civic Society in the late 1990s, said: “Tony was a man of great intelligence and contributed a lot to what we did.”

Scarborough’s Diving Belle and Bathing Belle statues came about because of something Mr Stevens had seen elsewhere, said Mr Cooper.

Mr Stevens’ funeral will be held at Kirkleatham Crematorium, near Redcar, on Monday September 21 and will be streamed live.

It will be available online for a week afterwards.