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Topic Originator: Mike Laughton
Post Date June 30, 2017 @ 10:20 AM

Mike Laughton
June 30, 2017 @ 10:20 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

ANOTHER great Stamfordian has died with the passing of Grahamme Sorfleet at the age of 87 this month.
Grahamme was probably best known as a local amateur entertainer who will have appeared in about 200 local productions over the years.
He had a fine tenor voice and a flair for comedy which meant he usually played comic roles in musicals and operettas. As he got older he switched to character roles and excelled in comedic supporting roles. I directed him in 'Allo 'Allo, Me and My Girl, and Fiddler on the Roof (where he played the Rabbi) and he stole the show with every appearance lighting up the stage every time he entered.
He was a stalwart of SAMS (formerly the Operatic Society), the Gilbert and Sullivan Society and College Players. He was also associated with the Shakespeare Company, the Pantomime Players and Shoestring Theatre.
He was a founder member of Shoestring, the G and S Players, Stamford Arts Centre and Stamford Swimming Club.
During his youth he was an all-round sportsman playing cricket for Priory Sports (now Stamford Town CC) and Burghley Park, football for Stamford Imps and was a brilliant swimmer and diver.
He worked for many years in the Town's Trustee Savings Bank before becoming manager of the Bourne Branch.
During his youth he lived in Broad Street and after his marriage to his wife Eunice he lived in Green Lane for a few years in the last house in the town which he called "Endun" He later moved into his house in Rutland Terrace which was to be his home the nest 50 years.
Above all Grahamme was a true Stamfordian who never wanted to live anywhere else. He had a wealth of memories about the town and some great stories about the Town characters of the past.
He would have been a brilliant contributor to the Gateway Forum and fortunately he passed on many of his stories and memories before he died.
He was a well-known and popular personality in the town thoughout his life and there would have been very few people in Stamford who didn't know Grahamme.

John Tyers
July 4, 2017 @ 7:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

So sorry to hear of Grahamme's demise.  I had not encountered him in town of late and wondered if he was alright.  He was a lovely man, to know whom, it was a privilege.  I will always remember when he was at the Trustees' he would peruse my bank book seeing the diminishing returns  and give me a knowing, secret smile!  A great entertainer and a brilliant diver and swimmer.  A sad loss to our community indeed.

Mike Laughton
July 9, 2017 @ 6:39 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

People often asked about the unusual spelling of Grahamme's first name.
Grahamme told me that he was named after a Royal Flying Corps officer who saved his father's life during the first World War.
His dad was an NCO who shared a two-seater biplane with a Captain Grahamme (surname) I believe the Captain was the pilot while Sorfleet Sr was the gunner.
On one occasion the pair were forced to crash land and Captain Grahamme pulled his injured gunner from the blazing wreckage.
Captain Grahamme lost his life later in the conflict but Sgt Sorfleet never forget the officer who saved his life and named his youngest son after him in the late 1920s.
Eunice was always fascinated with the unusual spelling of her husband's name and her pet name for him was "Hammie".

Caroline Bentley
July 22, 2017 @ 10:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember Grahamme very well. He was a great friend of my father, Mark Hooson. They were in the Gilbert and Sullivan productions together. Grahamme and Eunice lived a few doors away from us in Rutland Terrace.