Pleasant surprise to see my father

I WAS pleasantly surprised to see your feature on the old funeral records of DC Mercer & Son in the Observer on June 22, reproducing the photo of my late father, Victor Padgham, in formal attire, alongside his uncle Douglas Mercer and other bearers; also the follow-up last week with a tribute from one of his former choristers.

Perhaps you will allow me to explain, however, since a number of relatives are still living in the area, that the photograph was not among the ledgers, but loaned by me last year following a request made through Old Hastings Preservation Society for historic views of Silverhill, which could be used in redecorating Mercer’s funeral parlour.

I think it was taken in the early 1930s and the identifications of the personalities are from my father’s recollections.

The new proprietors of the business should find the record of his funeral almost on the last page of the ledger, as my father died at the age of 90 just before Christmas in 1993.

I think I can recall Mr Kingscote among the many choirboys who came home after choir practice, and he may like to know that I am writing this in the same corner of the room where he recalls the ‘old transistor radio’ – now replaced by digital radio and computer, but there is still no television in the house!


Sedlescombe Road North

St Leonards