Tributes paid to Midhurst man described as 'one in a million'

Tributes have been paid to Bert Brown, a Midhurst man affectionately described as a 'force of nature' by those who knew him bestTributes have been paid to Bert Brown, a Midhurst man affectionately described as a 'force of nature' by those who knew him best
Tributes have been paid to Bert Brown, a Midhurst man affectionately described as a 'force of nature' by those who knew him best
Tributes have been paid to Bert Brown – a Midhurst man who touched the hearts of everyone he met – following his death on May 24, aged 90.

Following his death, Bert’s friends and family have come forward to swap memories of his life.

Speaking to Sussex World, Great Grand Niece Nikki Coles said: “He was a definite Midhurst local celebrity, most of the town knew him and he would chat to everyone he met.

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He grew up in Terwick and walked to school in Stedham. As a young man he loved his motorbikes and cars, taking part in races including the Isle of Man TT.”Bert, who met his wife Dot on a trip to London, where they both discovered they were from Midhurst, spent most of his working life as a lorry driver, collecting cattle and transporting polo ponies. It was a job that gave him a chance to see much of Europe, including France, Germany and Spain, but it also helped him connect with his friends and neighbours; many of whom asked him to help them move house.

His helpfulness was innate, it seems, because once he stepped away from driving lorries, he worked as a mechanic, and spent a lot of time repairing cars for friends and family.

If Midhurst residents don’t recognise him from their time in the town where he spent his life, they might know him if they spent any time at all at the Munro Unit in Chichester Hospital, where he set up a support unit after having his leg amputated in 2004. He was a regular sight there, Mrs Coles said, and made a point of visiting, befriending and supporting patients.

"Being an amputee didnt stop Bert living his life,” she added. “He drove an adapted car, still fixed cars up, built things for his house and did his garden up. When he had to stop driving he frequently went down the town in his electric scooter.”

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Sadly, Bert’s wife and two sons, Robert and Adrian, passed away before he did, and spent the last part of his life in Marriot House, in Chichester, where he was always involved with their activities and day trips.

Nikki said Bert was ‘a force of nature right up until the end’, who was being told off by carers just a few days before he died for trying to head into Chichester on his own.

"He really was one in a million and loved by so many,” she said. “Despite having to deal with so much loss he still put a smile on the face of everyone he met.”

Bert’s funeral is set to take place at Chichester crematorium on Monday, June 24, at 3.30pm.

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