|9 Sep 2020|
Stephen Paul Abbott Chambers (OB 1956-1967) BSc. FRICS. FSVA.
24/1/1949 - 23/3/2020
Stephen was born at Brentwood Maternity Home, living in Margaret Avenue then Priests Lane. He commenced his education at Herington House School before moving to Brentwood Prep and into Main School.
Taking part in many activities at School, Stephen recalled with fondness the day of 16th May 1957 when as a young boy he went with the whole school to St Pauls Cathedral for the Commemoration service of the 400th Anniversary of Brentwood School. A newspaper photograph shows Stephen and fellow scholars eating their sandwiches at Finsbury Circus before the service. The whole operation of moving the school pupils from Brentwood to London was carried out with military precision, with the behaviour of the boys in procession being favourably commended by many observers.
Sporting activities were welcomed as Stephen had a keen eye for precision and as relaxation from studying, he quietly honed his skills with the squash ball, gaining the award of half colours in 1966, then later in life, the golf ball. Many happy hours were spent on the squash courts both at school and Ashwells Road, Bentley to be replaced by golf courses both here and abroad. He represented the School, County of Essex and the Old Boys Society in squash and golf obtaining trophies but counted friendship and teamwork with his fellow sportsmen as a greater goal.
Recounting his early experiences of swimming at school and having to jump into the icy cold waters, he was encouraged to find the shortest, straightest distance to the other end of the unheated outdoor pool! As a member of the RAF section of the Combined Cadet Force, the thrill of flying a glider remained as a golden memory of his teenage years at school.
In October 1967 he began studies at the University of Reading, College of Estate Management, St Alban’s Grove in Kensington, attaining his BSc. degree in Estate Management in 1970. During the University vacations he gained valuable experience with Taylor & Co, in Colchester and Hadleigh areas before working as a Valuer for the Inland Revenue Establishments Division of the District Valuer and Valuation Office at Redbridge.
Becoming a Partner of his Father’s company, Auctioneer, Surveyors & Valuers, A. A. Chambers & Co in November 1972, he worked tirelessly as both offices in Forest Gate and Upton Park were merged into one, following the retirement of his Father who had developed the business over 56 years.
Family life gave much joy and contentment. Stephen & Sally married in 1975, setting up home in Billericay and later, Shenfield. They were delighted when daughters Anna and Linda joined Brentwood School and West House. Helping with the committee work of Friends of Brentwood School, much fun was to be had on the variety of events days. Camping under canvas and later towing a caravan proved to be a favourable way of spending time together in the school holidays.
Following the sale of the business, Stephen had a mini retirement, then joined Hilbery Chaplin as a Chartered Surveyor Consultant, where he spent several happy years. By careful attention to detail and meticulous planning, he ensured he gave the best service to clients whilst listening to any concerns regarding the acquisition of a home.
Serving voluntarily as Treasurer for the Essex branch of the ISVA he set high standards which he upheld and maintained throughout many years of service.
Relaxing with golf, Stephen played at Stapleford Abbotts and became Secretary of the Swinden golf society. During his membership of Stockbrook Manor Golf Club, Billericay, he contributed by taking on several roles and became Captain of the Seniors Section in 2013. Continuing on the committee for many years, he was Secretary until quite recently.
He bore his illness with quiet fortitude and dignity, whilst using opportunities to enjoy life with family and friends. His characteristic humour and concern for the well-being of others shone through at all times making him a very popular person who embodied the true definition of gentlemanliness.
Sally, Anna, Linda and Neil and Grandsons, Farley and Austin love and miss him greatly.
STEPHEN P. A. CHAMBERS by Malcolm Stephenson (OB 1948-1953)
Stephen Paul Abbott Chambers died on 23rd March 2020 following a courageous battle with ill health.
After a distinguished period at Brentwood, entering the Prep in 1956 and leaving the Main School in 1967, Steve joined the family surveying practice having qualified as a Chartered Surveyor. He delighted in telling the story that his Father remarked on one occasion that computers were a good idea but would never catch on.
He took his surveying very seriously and explained to me in detail the Rights of Chancel Repair Liability, an ancient obligation to maintain Church property by adjacent landowners in the catchment area. This happened whilst travelling from Chelmsford to Aldeburgh to an OB Golf meeting. Not only did I receive a lift but gained useful knowledge which was later put to use.
The family were keen travellers particularly to Norway with daughters Anna and Linda. Old Brentwood squash and golf were important factors in Stephen’s life. He was a reliable and competent squash player appearing for the Old Boys in league and ladder competitions. He hit the ball extremely hard with great accuracy, his motto being “I like to get the rallies over as quickly as possible”.
Having taken up Golf he became a talented player with a useful handicap winning many OB competitions and owing to his leadership and inspiring skills became Captain of his Golf Club’s Veterans section.
Stephen was a perfect gentleman, kind and humorous offering sound advice and wisdom with a friendly disposition, playing by the rules in the spirit of the game.
As his health began to fail, Sally’s sympathy, love and compassion got him through some difficult times. Stephen is survived by his wife Sally, daughters Anna and Linda, son-in-law Neil and grandchildren Farley and Austin.
A funeral service was held on Thursday 16th April during these unprecedented times.