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Farewell to Bart Robinson, a 'son of Stansted' and former chairman of funeral directors Daniel Robinson & Sons

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Stansted came to a standstill as hundreds of people lined the streets to say a final farewell to "a true son" of the village.

Bartram 'Bart' Robinson, a director and former chairman of funeral directors Daniel Robinson & Sons, died on May 2, aged 96.

Bartram Robinson (35098722)
Bartram Robinson (35098722)

He grew up in Lower Street, Stansted, and in later years became a familiar sight in the village on his mobility scooter.

A funeral cortege led by Daniel Robinson's managing director Gary Neill, left Lower Street on Saturday May 9 before heading up Chapel Hill and along Cambridge Road.

"Bart touched the lives and hearts of many people," said a spokeswoman for the Bishop's Stortford-based firm, which was founded as a builders in Stansted 128 years ago.

"Many people wished to pay their final respects to him as he left the village he loved. Stansted came to a standstill as hundreds of people came out to say their farewells and give Bart a round of applause as the cortege passed by."

The funeral cortege for Bartram Robinson leaves Lower Street, Stansted (34859290)
The funeral cortege for Bartram Robinson leaves Lower Street, Stansted (34859290)

Bartram Robinson was brought up by his grandparents – Daniel Robinson, who founded the company in 1892, and his wife Margaret – after his mother passed away after childbirth.

Before diversifying into coffin making and undertaking services, the business owned a sawmill and specialised in building homes in Stansted, where Bartram grew up in Lower Street and developed a love of architecture and history. In his later years, he catalogued many of the properties constructed by his grandfather.

Bart was a student at Newport Free Grammar School – now the Joyce Frankland Academy – and went on to study engineering before working for Murphy Radio.

That took him to Hanslope Park, a classified government facility attached to Bletchley Park, where he was part of the team which constructed a new British military messaging encryption system called Rocex, used in embassies around the world until 1983. Last year he joined Bletchley Park’s 80th anniversary celebrations.

Bart Robinson with wife Doris, who died in 2013 (35098844)
Bart Robinson with wife Doris, who died in 2013 (35098844)

He was a devoted family man and married Doris at the end of the Second World War. The couple had three sons – Robert, William and David – and a daughter, Sarah, who died soon after she was born. Doris passed away in 2014.

At the age of 40, he followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and launched his building and plumbing company, Bartram Robinson & Sons, which he ran with Doris until he retired. He was also a director of Glasscocks Properties in Stansted.

Gary Neill, MD of Daniel Robinson & Sons, said: “Bart was made a director of our family business in 1982, becoming chairman in 1994, a position he held until a few years ago when he reluctantly stepped down.

“His oldest son, Robert, is now the chairman and Bart continued as an active director right up until the present day. He was a much-loved figure.

“He was a familiar and welcome visitor at all our funeral homes, dropping in for a chat and a cup of tea and taking an interest in the welfare of all the staff.”

In his youth, Bart was a keen footballer, playing for Takeley, a talented cricketer and latterly a steadfast supporter of Stansted Bowls Club, where he was a regular attendee and patron.

He was a loyal Freemason who became a member of the Stansted Lodge in his early 30s and remained active in the movement.

He retained his zest for life to the end, embracing modern technology to keep in touch with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He did not give up driving until he was 94 and became a familiar sight in Stansted on his mobility scooter.

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