I miss going to Unkle Wrinkle's on New Cross Road with Stef for a seaweed and egg soup after work. I miss driving us to Vauxhall Flower Market at 5 in the morning to get houseplants for the shop. I remember waiting while Stef would study each plant meticulously before purchasing. We'd always get a chocolate croissant and a coffee in the caf after. I miss Stef showing me little artefacts he'd been gifted or had foraged from Deptford market. I miss Stef's wit and his unfaltering sincerity, his unrelenting reciprocity and sensitivity to societal justice. I miss Stef's encouraging me to be myself at work and not rush for the sake of rolling over more digits. I miss Stef's adamance not to get a barcode reader. (to my amusement Green Onion's now has one but it's not synced up with half of the products). I love that Stefan strapped the card reader to a stick during the Pandemic to respect social distance.
My job at GO's was the longest endured job Ive had. Stef was immediately a friend and the gentlest authority. If anything he was teaching me and we were sharing knowledge. It was never top-down though when it was it was awkward because Stefan never wanted to hurt anyones feelings. Sometimes I even felt like I was bossing Stef around as the shop really was an extension of Stefan's mind. Once I remember saying in a moment of frustration "It feels like I'm tidying your bedroom!" I know that I wouldn't have wanted it any other way and that the shop was so deep because of Stefan and Adrian's commitment to making it like home.
The thing that I don't miss is Stef's underlying pain. It was hard to witness him not being able to properly grieve the death of his Mother. I now understand the importance of being able to mourn and I hope that he has found an ever present place for all the Qi to flow and all the emotional colours of the rainbow to be felt and seen and heard by him.
Miss and Love you Stefan
In August we went for a walk and chat at a therapeutic garden from Lewisham hospital. It reminded him of his mum. Later in the month, we went for tea at Hill Station Cafe, where he gifted me the book by Feynman. Then we sat in telegraph hill in a lovely sunny and warm afternoon and walked with him to his place. Just a couple of days later, I picked him up and we cycled together to Glengall Wharf Garden where I volunteered, and while I worked on the garden he went for a walk to get to know the space and plants. He stayed for a bit and then left. That was the last time we met.
I met Stefan through the Achilles Street Stop and Listen Campaign which I am involved in to try and save homes and shops from demolition. My work is about telling the personal stories of people in their homes, shops and communities through texts and photographs to highlight the effects of profit-driven regeneration. The work is also part of my PhD research at Goldsmiths. We wrote Stefan's story at Green Onions as part of the research and the campaign. I didn't know Stefan for long and I didn't know him well but from my encounters with him I could tell he was such an active, valued and loved member of the local community. He was so gentle, cared so much about the area, his products and customers and for local people/artists, as well as for social and environmental justice. The times I hung out in the shop, either to chat, shop or photograph, I was so moved by his engagement and relationships with his customers. It was so full of passion, love and care and I think this also really comes across in the piece, which I edited together with Stefan.
I fondly remember growing up with Stefan. I remember the endless hours spent as teenagers playing poker for 2p coin stakes. Putting the dull, grey 80s adult world to rights. Watching countless crap/seminal action/horror films round at Alan Wan's with our crew of bright young minds. The hours of laughter and records. Kermit, the roadkill frog that he lovingly pickled, which decomposed, marking the passing of our teenage years.
Later, when we lived together on Gwydyr St with Imri and Jan-Willem (and Nadia and Nancy) opposite the Cambridge Blue. Stefan projecting 16mm films backwards into the street. I remember the unbridled joy when we got the Tories out in '97, blasting the music out of the windows. The Thursday nights at the Devonshire Arms. The hours spent waiting for Stefan to finish watching Match of the Day (ffs!). His treasure trove of skipped psychedelic geography slides. Oh my! The many Christmas Eves spent at his parent's, in deep discussion,and in many states of mind. Again I remember the joy and the laughter and the records.
He took joy in helping others, building projects for the wider community and making meaningful, positive connections. The last times that I saw Stefan were in Green Onions, his oasis in New Cross. I'd moved out of London but would drop by the shop to see him whenever I was in town. He'd make a tea and I'd pick a few records to play. I was really happy for him, and there was a sense of calm about our interactions in those times that left me with a warm inner glow. It was always a joy to catch up with him. Throughout my extreme and intensely lived life, our friendship was a much appreciated constant. I miss him immeasurably but the warm inner glow that he left is still there. I'm sure that many of you that knew him feel the same.
I've included the picture of one of Stefan's slides that he found in that skip in Cambridge. We literally laughed over this one till we cried.
I will forever remember cousin Stefan as my bright, witty, pensive, thoughtful and caring cousin and friend. We had many many laughs together whilst he stayed with us on his trips with Nigel to Australia; times I enjoyed and remember vividly....Stefan could be so so funny... and his laughing and talking then laughing harder cracked me up. I once asked Stefan a question and he wrote me the most considered eloquent 6 page hand-written reply, and that was his giving nature...I know he gave it all he could all the way.
Dearest Stefan you will be so immeasurably missed; your kindness and compassion will equally be cherished by me and remembered forever. Thank you for your taking the time to try to explain the unexplainable even though it must have hurt. I wish you all the peace Stefan thank you so much, love cousin Amy
I feel lucky to have known you and I feel honoured to call you my friend. I will always cherish the memories with you. Safe travels Stefan.
He will always be remembered by the Milner Family as the kindest and most altruistic person we have met and were able get to know as a boy and young man at times together at family gatherings and holidays in Cambridge, Yorkshire and Nottingham.
I first met Stefan at CoolTan. It wasn’t always the easiest place to work but the community around the place was very strong and we bonded during our time there. My particular memory of Stefan from that time was that he used to often sit outside the centre in contemplation. I asked him once what he was doing and he told me that he did a lot of work in his head before putting it down on paper. This meant a lot to me as my job there was always very hectic and Stefan set a really good example for me by taking time to create personal space for reflection. For this reason I often think of him at work when things get overwhelming and try to follow his lead.
I have really fond memories of the feuerzangenbowle parties Stefan held at the coop. It was always such a treat to see Stefan in his element, introducing the group of friends he had assembled to this lovely tradition with his trademark understated enthusiasm. I’m really going to miss Stefan, he was such a lovely man. It is very difficult to think that we won’t cross paths again but I feel incredibly lucky that we met and my life was touched by his.
Precious memories from times shared in London, Dorset and Robin Hood's Bay. Stefan was a pro fossil digger!
When I met Stefan back in 2002 in the London Tube he was reading the Guardian. Somehow I engaged the conversation. He trusted that stranger with a french accent without hesitations. He gave me his phone number. And one month later I was having one of the best times of my life as a steward in the big chill music festival. Thanks to Stefan who told me and coached me (buy some wellington boots he said!). I will never forget!
THANK YOU Stefan.
This is how I will remember Stefan: a kind, generous and altruistic person. I will miss him.
A beautiful memory that we had with Stefan when we went back to London for a holiday I think in 2009. We were staying in Brixton and your brother was living in the house too. It was actually my birthday and i think I told you brother about that the day before so he kindly proposed to bring us to a nice place nearby close to the Brockwell park and to share with us an authentic English breakfast. We went there by bike, had some great food and great conversation with him and then he proposed to show us where he was working at this moment at Brockwell Park. We went there, it was sunny and I told him it was such a great start for a birthday. He kindly offered me a present, it was an artbook with a nice note and I still have his card and the book with me. I thought it was very nice of him to spend some time with us. I always pictured Stefan as someone aware of other people. A very great guy with a lot of empathy who took the time to spend a quality moment with us. That is definitely a precious memory of your brother that i will cherish.
I have also this fantastic memory as well with you and Eva to go visiting Stefan in Cambridge I think and spent the day there going to some musical event or gathering and suddenly it was like I knew everybody, everybody was familiar to me. And I remember chatting a lot with your brother that day. That day was one of my best memory of my time in London!