Midhurst firefighter opens funeral directors

A Midhurst firefighter has opened a brand-new business in the town with the aim of supporting grieving families across the area.

Fifth-generation Midhurst resident Toby Merritt-Smith opened the doors of his latest venture, Merritts of Midhurst, in West Street last month in the site of the former Farringdon’s Pet Care Centre.

Soon after opening, Merritts was busy with families hoping to give their loved ones a fitting farewell, and meant that the business is yet to celebrate its launch.

Toby has worked in the industry for the past five years alongside his landscaping business and the work in the fire service and said his passion for the industry came after speaking with bereaved families in his role as a firefighter in the town.

He said: “I was the firefighter in Midhurst and I worked with families in the most distressing times in their lives. Then I thought about the next process after that and being able to go further and support families through that stage.”

He added: “The business has opened to support families in their time of need with affordable and bespoke funerals in Midhurst and the surrounding areas.

"We are also promoting eco-funerals at natural burial grounds.”

Merritts has created ties with a natural burial sites in Clayton Wood and East Meon as well as links with a number of other gravesites.

A number of bespoke vehicles will also be available including a Land Rover, VW campervan and a traditional hearse.

Toby and his colleagues will be hosting an open day alongside the MADhurst street party on August 27, an opportunity for the community to say hello and introduce themselves to us.