Moving tributes at funeral of former Burghley House butler

Arthur Mellar and Gerwin Castillo EMN-140730-150707001
Arthur Mellar and Gerwin Castillo EMN-140730-150707001
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Mourners packed St Martin’s Church in Stamford for the funeral of a popular butler described as “kind, selfless and generous”.

Arthur Mellar died earlier this month after a tragic accident at Burghley House when he was crushed by a service lift in the stately home near Stamford.

About 600 people filled the church in High Street St Martin’s for his funeral on Tuesday.

Mr Mellar’s coffin, covered in white roses, made the two--mile journey from his home in Conduit Road to the church in a horse-drawn hearse.

His partner Gerwin Castillo, mother Mona, brother Frederick and sister Ivy followed the coffin up the church aisle.

The Rev Gavin Cooper, parish priest of St Martin’s, told the congregation: “Whatever your faiths or beliefs give thanks for his life and his enjoyment of it.”

He said in his address: “Arthur spent his life in the service of others - as partner, butler, son and friend.”

An eulogy was given by Miranda Rock, house director, who paid moving tribute to Mr Mellar. She said he was the heart of the house.

Burghley House closed for the day from 12.45pm for the funeral service.

Mr Mellar’s friend Steve Turrell said there was no need to tell anyone just how well liked Arthur was as the packed church was testament to his popularity.

“He was the kindest, most selfless and generous man I have had the privilege to know,” he told the congregation.

Towards the end of the service Gerwin gave a heart-wrenching rendition of Ave Maria, before the coffin was taken from the church on to a hearse which drove through Burghley Park en route to Peterborough Crematorium.

Gerwin, 39, said afterwards that his instinct was to go far away to escape the pain, but he would stay in the house that they shared “because of all the beautiful memories”.

Arthur died at Peterborough City Hospital where he was taken after the accident on July 12 - four days after the anniversary of the couple’s civil partnership on July 8, 2011.