It was a trip down memory lane for Stedham with Iping Parish Council chairman Eddie Lintott when villagers gathered at the Memorial Hall last night (Monday, November 14) to celebrate his 50th anniversary as a member.
Eddie joined what was then Stedham Parish Council on November 14, 1966. Many members who had served with him over half a century gathered to celebrate his milestone. They included Eve Phillips, who joined in 1972 and Jane Crawford, parish councillor from 1979 to 1999 before becoming clerk. Also present were Stedham vicars, past and present and members of village organisations.
Eddie joined at 25, having just qualified as a surveyor and auctioneer: “It was quite a different body then,” he said, “there were city businessmen and farmers but not many villagers. I had just qualified and they thought I might be of benefit.
“I sat at the feet of my elders and when the vice chairman, Jim Pudney retired, I was appointed vice chairman.”
He became chairman in 1979 for his first three years and has since held the post of chairman or vice chairman for more than 25 years. Eddie, who was born in Stedham and lived there all his life, prides himself on having held all three village ‘portfolios’ at the same time. As well as council chairman he was churchwarden at St James for 32 years and served on the primary school governors for 20 years, ten as chairman.
In the 1970s he chaired the Parish Civil Defence Committee “fortunately it was never called into action.” He saw the parish boundary change to become Stedham with Iping Parish Council. He is also proud of running the best kept village campaigns in the 1980s winning several trophies. Among the low points he said were ‘conflict’ including the sports pavilion, now a success story, the controversy when Kerry Packer created polo grounds and the current battle over development at the former St Cuthman’s School.
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