It is with great sadness we record the death of Christine Burslem. She had been for many years a member of the congregations up first Christ Church and then in more recent times Oulton.
Christine was born into a family of potters in December 1948. She moved to Stone in the 1970s to be close to her aunt and uncle, Enid and Cyril Venables. From that time until her death she lived in Edward St.
In earlier times visitors enjoyed Christine’s hospitality and I remember a long and hilarious game of Monopoly played around her table, with a group of young people.
Christine had a beautiful voice and was an accomplished pianist. She played in church and in some local schools. Sometimes Christine gave private lessons. She had a deep faith, music being one way of expressing it and she prayed for people.
For some years Christine worked for the library service and she never lost her love of reading. It was not an uncommon sight to see her returning from Stone library with two big bags brimming with books. She also loved an opportunity to go to the Theatre.
Christine had a couple of very interesting and unusual skills. She had an excellent memory, almost photographic and was, like fewer than one in 100 people, ambidextrous. Writing with her left or right hand was equally easy for Christine; so much so her bank once asked her to please always use the same hand to sign the cheques as it was causing confusion!
Christine was delighted to be part of Oulton lunch club and enjoyed having a meal with friends.
Sadly, Christine had suffered from ill health for a number of years which she bore with great fortitude.
Ruth Wilson has added some memories of Christine:
I am unsure when I first met Christine, but I got to know her more when she was working in Stafford library and I was working at Stafford Tourist information centre. When she found out Geoff (my late husband) worked for the gas board she asked if we could go and help sort her gas bill out for her. When we were shown into her living room I was amazed at how many books and papers she had.
When the time of the church service changed to 9.15 at Christ Church, Christine became a member of the church family at Oulton. She always sat at the front and had a lovely voice, when Ian played after the service she would always listen and clap, to say how much she enjoyed it.
My husband Geoff died in 2008 and shortly afterwards I decided to start a lunch club in the village and asked Christine to come along. She really enjoyed it and appreciated every meal. She was a lovely lady and we had good conversations together and with many other members of the group. When a group of us went to The Wheatsheaf for lunch Christine would very often join us. I seem to remember she was not very keen on vegetables.
When we went into lockdown with Covid 19, I kept in touch with Christine on a regular basis, I would ask what she was doing, the cross word, reading, or watching TV, I asked what she liked to watch and one was “A new life in the sun”, so I started to watch it so we had something to talk about. Sometimes she was on the phone for ages, and other times she would not answer the phone towards the end.
I feel so many people throughout Christine’s life had tried to help her, but she would not let them get too close. Her illness in the end stopped her from caring for herself. But it’s been a privilege to know Christine and I will miss her.
She will be missed by both Christ Church and Oulton. At the time of going to press no date has been set for her funeral. If you have any interesting memories of Christine please let us know.