Wolverhampton's famous 'ring road tramp' Josef Stawinoga has died at the age of 87. Share your memories of 'Fred' here.
Josef Stawinoga, known as 'Fred', lived in a tent on the central reservation of Wolverhampton's ring road for more than 40 years.
A Polish immigrant who spoke little English, Josef became a cult hero in Wolverhampton, he has a Facebook fan group dedicated to him and is even revered by some as a saint, despite a past shrouded in mystery.
He spent almost half a century as an eccentric, yet accepted part of Wolverhampton's community. His unconventional lifestyle was monitored by Wolverhampton Council who delivered hot meals and provided replacement tents.
Wolverhampton City Council released a statement following the death of Mr Stawinoga on Sunday 28th October 2007:
"Everyone is very saddened to hear of the death of Josef Stawinoga. He was part and parcel of life in the city for decades and people took him to their hearts. He was a true character and Wolverhampton won't be quite the same without him.
The council was able to support Mr Stawinoga to live the lifestyle he chose and we provided him with twice-daily meals on wheels, replaced his tent when necessary and generally kept an eye on his well-being.
We will have to wait and see if any next of kin or friends come forward and say they will organise the funeral, but if nobody does then the council will make the necessary arrangements."
Read and listen to more about Josef Stawinoga
The funeral of Mr Josef Stawinoga will take place on Thursday, November 15th, 2007, at 2.30pm in the West Chapel at Bushbury Crematorium.
The Funeral Director is the Co-operative Funeral Service, St Marks Road, Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton.
Although Wolverhampton City Council has facilitated the funeral arrangements all the costs will be met from the estate of the deceased.
Anyone wishing to pay their respects to the deceased need to be aware that the West Chapel can only accommodate a maximum of 80 mourners therefore access to the Chapel will be closed once that many people have arrived.
Due to capacity limits in the West Chapel, plus health and safety considerations, the city council is respectfully suggesting that only those people who personally knew and had contact with Mr Stawinoga attend the service.
Any groups or organisations wishing to pay their respects are politely requested to restrict their representation to just one person.
last updated: 12/11/07
Have Your Say
Share your memories of 'Fred' here:
Dave the rave
Kirsten && sally :)
charanjeet basi &charlotte harris
Ale-Shaa & Nay-Dine...
jade ov dudley
kerry and mick
DEMI N JAKE
mad lil selina, parkies
louise + neil
naomi and tracy