A Public Access Defibrilator was launched in the High Street on Saturday 27th September by Cllr. Joyce Farnham.

The defib is sited on the wall of the Co-op Supermarket with the kind permission of their Head Office. The defib has been erected in memory to Dr.Barry Farnham and Mark Richard Guy Symonds who both unfortunately died of a heart attack in October 2013. Dr Farnham at the age of 88 and Mark celebrating his 50th birthday. In December Dr.Farnham`s widow, Cllr Joyce Farnham, passed half of the donations given at Barry`s funeral to Stone Lions who she knew “would spend it wisely for the people of Stone”.


At the same time a group of Mark`s friends were organising events to raise funds so they  could hopefully do something to prevent anyone else not having the opportunity to recover from a heart attack. The Lions ring-fenced the money until they could determine something suitable for the memory of Barry and to help they contacted his old GP Practice at Cumberland House and the First Responders who they had assisted previously. At the same time Mark`s friends had raised several hundred pounds and they too contacted the First Responders for advice on a suitable project. The result of this was a joint meeting hosted by the First Responders with West Midland Ambulance Service and AED sales, who provide defibs and are based in Stone, in attendance.

Mark Richard Guy Symonds
Mark Richard Guy Symonds

When we realised that Stone was a poor relation in the provision of defibs compared to many other communities in the area there was a determination to ensure one was provided and the High Street was considered the most suitable site. After various negotiations, and at times disappointment, Jamie Richards from AED got permission from the Co-op to install a defib on the outer wall of their premises.

As there was a shortfall when the two funds were combined Stone Lions agreed to provide the extra to enable the project to proceed. As the majority of Lions funds are the result of public contributions to their various activities this was seen as an excellent  use of the funds.

Part of The Co-Op team Join Stone Mayor Cllr Cathy Collier an Cllr Joyce Farnham for the unveiling of the De-fib.
Part of The Co-Op team join Stone Mayor Cllr Cathy Collier and Cllr Joyce Farnham and Glyn Ravenscroft from Stone Lions for the unveiling of the De-fib.

During the final preparations for the installation a surprise connection to Barry and Mark was revealed when Mark`s brother, Paul, contacted his friends to offer his apologies in not being able to make the journey to attend the ceremony. He had not been aware that Dr. Farnham was the other party being remembered but informed them that their father Bruce, was a Paediatrician in the area from 1963-1981 and his parents frequently socialised with the Farnhams. When this was conveyed to Joyce Farnham, who was not aware of Mark`s surname, she had instant recollection of this `wonderful` couple, Bruce and Shirley, with whom they had spent many happy hours. In this respect it seems even more special that this defib should be dedicated to two people whose families were so closely linked.