Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Funeral farewell to man who ran Swindon leisure centre
HUNDREDS gathered to pay their respects to a generous and gentle man at the funeral of Arthur Studt.
Family and friends turned out for the funeral which was held at Christchurch, in Old Town, yesterday afternoon.
Mr Studt, who was 92 when he died, owned and ran the Swindon Family Leisure Centre in Fleet Street for many years.
His coffin, which was covered in red roses, was carried into the church led by the Swindon Male Voice Choir, who sung Gwahoddiad, reflecting Pontypridd-born Mr Studt’s heritage.
The congregation joined in with the singing of Abide With Me before listening to tributes from Martin Quinter, who was an old friend of Arthur and described him as a generous and gentle man who would be sorely missed by all.
David Crew Gibson also spoke of Arthur, and how the pair had met through a mutual passion of golf and told how once Arthur had been struck on the head with a golf ball resulting in him being taken to hospital.
The combined amusement arcade and snooker room was one of the town’s best-known leisure landmarks until Mr Studt retired at 60.
Speaking before the funeral his niece, Diana Green, said: “He was always a kind and loving person. What we have said on the memorial cards is that he was a true gentleman.
“He was always polite, he never got upset with anybody, he was a calm person and he was a loving person.”
Mr Studt, a member of the Studt dynasty of showmen, was born in 1920 and had four sisters and three brothers.
It was during his travels that he met Queenie Edwards from the famous Swindon family of showmen.
The couple were married for 64 years, and Queenie survives him.
The couple settled down near Swindon. They had no children but loved their nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews, and were loved in return.
In his business career and as a Rotarian and Freemason, Mr Studt was a respected man who helped to raise money for many local good causes over the years.
A decade ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which would eventually take his life, but as Diana recalled: “He was always nice to his carers and to anybody he met when we took him out for the day.
“He used to say to people ‘I like your smile.’ “He always kept his dignity and he always kept his manners. You could take him anywhere until his final weeks when he was really unwell.
“He was loved by all.”
Arthur’s coffin was carried out of the church to the song You Made Me Love You by Al Jolson, which was his and Queenie’s song, and many of the congregation joined in with the singing.
A service was then held at the Kingsdown Crematorium before friends and family gathered for the wake at the Blunsdon House Hotel.