Tributes paid to beloved Bognor Regis DJ and hairdresser who died of cancer
“He always made people happy. And he won’t be forgotten. I know that”
Tributes have been paid to beloved Bognor Regis DJ and hairdresser Eddie Stenner after he died from advanced bowel cancer on March 23, aged 64.
“He was the best. He was a hard-working, honest man with a lot of character and a lot of charisma,” his 37 year old son Jamie Stenner said.
Alongside organising Bognor’s yearly Soul ‘All-Dayer’, Eddie owned the Studio One Hairdressers on Queensway and operated the now-legendary Empire Club opposite the seafront.
Based on the seafront, the club was a hot-spot for artists, DJs and musicians throughout the nineties. It gave Eddie a chance to share his passion for music with the town in which he lived.
Jamie, who owns a skate shop in Chichester, said his father’s passion for music was broad and inclusive.
“My dad was into all genres of music,” he said. “When I was growing up he used to play a lot of house music, but he had Lambrettas way before I was on the scene and that comes with a bit of two-tone, reggae and ska.
“I don’t know what exactly drew him to music, but there was always music playing in our house. Always. If we got in the car, he would put music on. If we went anywhere, we put music on, and, if we went out, we’d go where the music was good.”
Jamie said that, Despite the challenges of losing his father, he’ll always appreciate the time they had together.
“I don’t want to idolise him, there were definitely times we’d argue because that’s what father and son do. But ‘perfect’ isn’t a term I throw around lightly. He was supportive, very kind, very influential, very inspiring. He had this incredible moral code that I’ve not met anyone else with yet.”
That sentiment was echoed by fellow DJ and long-time friend Dr Bob Jones.
“Eddie was salt of the earth,” the 72 year old said.
“I would meet up with him every week, we’d walk along the seafront and past the pier, have a coffee, chew the fat and do it again the next week. We did it one week and then he’s not one the planet anymore. It’s unbelievable.”
“He always made people happy,” Dr Bob Jones added “and he won’t be forgotten. I know that.”
Eddie’s funeral stood testament to that fact. Taking place on April 8, Eddie’s family made sure those who wanted one got a chance to say goodbye, despite Covid-19 restrictions.
““We wanted to work out a way for people who wanted to pay their respects to do so if they couldn’t get to the crematorium or anywhere else.”
To do that, the procession stopped by some of the most important places in Eddie’s life: including his hairdresser’s on Queensway and the old site of the Empire Club.
The funeral procession was also attended by a number of scooter riders belonging to a group in which Eddie was involved. According to Dr Bob Jones, they parked opposite the pier and saluted the procession as it passed before mounting their scooters and joining the procession itself.
For Eddie’s wife, son and daughter, the day was a fitting tribute to the man’s many contributions to Bognor Regis. It stood credence to the many lives he touched and friends he made.
“My dad built an empire,” Jamie said “and that empire was based on music. It started with music. And there are so many kind people that have done things for me, my sister and my mum. I’d give it all back tomorrow to have my dad here, but he’s not here. And those gestures are still incredibly kind.”