Tributes Paid To Garage Founder

Family and friends have been paying tribute to the founder of the Rolleston Service Station garage in the village who died after a short illness.

Arthur Woolley, 69, who was a keen golfer, died peacefully in Burton's Queens Hospital on Saturday 28 October 2000. Mr Woolley was married to Barbara, 66, for 45 years and was father to David, 40, and Maureen, 43. He had two grandchildren, Michael, 17, and Caroline 14.

A lifelong Rollestonian Arthur was born in 1931 at the top end of Station Road. He was the oldest of three children with Ida, now in Canada and John who still lives here in the village. Arthur was christened and confirmed in St Mary’s church and in 1955 he married Barbara in St Mary’s.

Mr Woolley went to the village school before attending Tutbury Secondary School and Burton Technical High School. After leaving school he began a motor vehicle apprenticeship at Astle's Garage in Horninglow. In 1952, after finishing his apprenticeship, he served two years national service. He returned to Astle's Garage in 1954 before establishing the Rolleston Service Station in Station Road, Rolleston in 1966. He took on 4 petrol pumps, a little shop and a tool shed in Station Road. That was Arthur, a man of vision who could make anything work or so it would seem. Many will have met him through the garage and many friendships have been built around cars. He worked hard at his business with the support of the whole family.

It wasn’t all work though with Arthur, he enjoyed a full and active leisure time and enjoyed travel, he even eventually managed to join the WI trips in spite of being “just a husband”! In his retirement - if you can call it that - he would always still open up the garage at 8.00 am. “Don’t take that job from me” he’d say.

Arthur was especially evident in the staging of the recent Millennium Exhibition. He would be seen driving the van backwards and forwards, humping stuff around like a man half his age. He all but wore out Ann and Arnold Burston with his seemingly endless energy and capacity for work. He was always it seemed cheerful, outspoken, yes, but also full of fun with his shock of white hair brushed back you always knew when Arthur was there. Always a laugh or a word for everyone.

Mr Woolley loved golfing and was a founder member of the Craythorne Golf Club. He was the clubs first captain and was club president in 1997 and 1998. "He was a great mender of things", said Mrs Woolley. "There will be lots of people who will miss him and remember him for his help in repairing things like their golf trolleys." Ken Yates said "He was a marvelous man, very honest, reliable and would help anybody (including me - Webmaster) and will be sadly missed in Rolleston."

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Last updated: 7 October 2006