TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-serving member of Bromsgrove Court Leet who has died, aged 57.
Christopher Vandeleur Firminger was born in the district in 1963, educated at Bromsgrove School and joined the Court in 1998.
He followed in the footsteps of his father Paddy Firminger who was elected Bailiff in 1988.
Chris was a committed member and served as Market Master for three years, organising the traders on Fair Day and
Ale Taster for two years before becoming Reeve in 2005. He was elected Bailiff in 2006.
At the Autumn Court meeting held online in November 2020, Chris was unanimously elected as the Court’s Marshal – a key master of ceremonies position for official meetings and leading the parade on Fair Day in June.
At the Autumn Courts in 2018 and 2019 Chris had seconded the proposal to the Court that the first female Reeve and subsequently Bailiff Joanne Slade be elected to the posts.
Chris was well known for this belief in the traditions of the Court whilst being keen to move the organisation forward to stay relevant.
Joanne said everyone would miss him greatly.
“Chris’ loss will be felt far and wide, by his family and friends, through the Court, through his masonic family, and within the business community in Bromsgrove and beyond.
“Chris was a kind and generous gentleman who always had time for others.
“Chris was very much looking forward to his new role as Marshal in the Court Leet, a role I believe he would have fulfilled with great enthusiasm and pride.
“I admired his strong character and his steadfast desire to uphold the Court’s traditions and was honoured when he seconded my proposal to Reeve and Bailiff.
“My thoughts are with his family at this tragic time.”
Chris was taken to hospital having contracted vasculitis in late January, he was moved to ICU and then transferred to an ECMO machine.
He died on February 27.
Due to current restrictions the funeral will be family only.
The family hopes, in the coming months, a memorial service can be held to celebrate Chris’ life.