One of the most unassuming of men, Mr Max Stringer, whose death occurred at 12.15p.m. on Monday at his residence, 129, Wellingborough-road, Rushden, had gifts which ranked him as a musician of ability. For fifty years or more he influenced the work of the Park-road Baptist Church choir, and many chorister in the town owe something to his example and guidance.
Mr. Stringer belonged essentially to the Joseph Farey period of Rushden music and was leading tenor in the Baptist choir when Mr. Farey, with his brother George as organist, was leading his singers to success in the Crystal Palace festivals of the Non-conformist Choir Union.
The Baptist Church occupied the old "Top Meeting" when Mr. Stringer entered membership and joined the choir. Some years later Mr. Stringer took charge of the Sunday School choir and, to Mr. Farey's delight, supplied from its ranks many soundly-schooled singers ready for service in the senior choir. He was quick to encourage, and his advice was always valued. The Sunday School choir, moreover, was able to compete, usually with success, in festivals at Northampton, Kettering and other towns.
Mr. Stringer became known and popular throughout the district as a tenor soloist. Some years after the death of Mr. Farey he was asked to conduct the senior Baptist Choir, and he had charge of it during the war years, showing great ability in the work. His son, Mr. Frank Stringer, has followed in his footsteps as a tenor singer, and three daughters have also served in the choir. Mr. Bernard Tomkins became choirmaster after Mr. Stringer's resignation.
Aged 71 years, Mr. Stringer was a native of Staughton Moor, Hunts., and came to Rushden as a boy. He and his brother, the late Mr Jacob Stringer, made boots and shoes at their own “shop” in the days when the work was given out by the manufacturers. Then for many years he was manager of the boot factory established by his brother-in-law, the late Mr Ben Ladds, retiring about twelve months ago when his health broke down.
For many years he devoted himself to the work of the Rushden Hospital Week Committee, and for a long period was the chairman, resigning only a few years ago. He was one of the original members of the present Rushden Town Bowling Club, and played until a few years ago.
Mr Stringer and his wife (who survives) had been married 49 years and were hoping to celebrate their golden wedding next September.
There are five children, Miss Maud Stringer, Mr Frank Stringer, Mrs. W H Paterson (Finedon), Mrs Smith (Northampton) and Mrs T Hedley (Higham Ferrers). Representatives of the Rushden Hospital Week Committee and of the Park-road Baptist Church and choir were among the mourners at the funeral on Thursday. The service took place at the house, where the Rev. T. W. Gill, Park-road Baptist minister, officiated, and the interment was at the Rushden cemetery.
The family mourners were: Mrs. Stringer (widow) and Miss Maud Stringer (daughter), Mr. and Mrs. Frank Stringer (son and daughter-in-law), Councillor and Mrs W. H. Paterson, Finedon (son-in-law and daughter), Mr. and Mrs. S. Smith, Northampton (son-in-law and daughter), Mr and Mrs. T. Hedley. Higham Ferrers (son-in-law and daughter), Mr. Walter Stringer and Miss Nora Stringer (brother and niece), Mrs. B. Ladds and Miss Ethel Ladds (sister-in-law and niece), Miss Muriel Ladds and Mr. Hugh Ladds (niece and nephew), Mrs. John Ladds and Mr. F. Reynolds (sister-in-law and friend), and Mr. P. Evans (former employee of B. Ladds, Ltd.). Mr. Walter Stringer was unable to attend the service at the cemetery owing to illness.
Other mourners included Mr. A. Prigmore (Transport Officer, Rushden Motor Ambulance Association, representing the Hospital Week Committee), Mr. J. A. Blunt (Hospital Week Committee), Mr A S Knight (secretary, Baptist Church choir), Miss G Brightwell (choir), Mr J L Clipson, A.R.C.O. (formerly organist at the Baptist Church under Mr Stringer), Mesdames E Harris and C Richardson (Baptist Church), Mrs L J Clayton, Miss M Tompkins and Mr F S Knight.
Among the wreaths were tributes from the Hospital Week Committee, Mr T W Cox (chairman of the Hospital Week Committee in 1938), the employees of Messrs B Ladds Ltd., and many friends in the town.
Messrs T Swindall and Sons carried out the funeral arrangements.