A VILLAGE church was packed for the funeral of a popular businessman who sadly passed away recently. The funeral of Arthur Poyser, of Blythe Bridge, took place at St Peter's Church in Forsbrook on Monday, April 15. He had passed away suddenly but peacefully on March 19, aged 86. Arthur was the devoted husband of Millie, much loved dad of Ann and Mark, respected and loved father-in-law of Steve and Tracey and a special grandad, brother-in-law and uncle, who will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Arthur was born on September 10, 1932, and was the youngest of nine siblings who were brought up on a cattle farm in Swythamley.
He attended Leek Grammar School before working on the family farm and then working on his brother Doug’s farm.
He later moved to Cheadle to live with his sister Edna and worked for Ron Goodhall at his farm in Leek Road, and then moved to Blythe Bridge and worked at Parkhall Colliery.
After working in the pits for six years, Arthur spent a while working as an odd job man putting his hand to many skills such as painting, plumbing and building, before taking over the Cross Street Pet Stores in Cheadle more than 30 years ago.
Arthur met his wife-to-be Millicent around the time he worked on his sister Edna’s farm.
Millicent, now aged 82, said: “I was working in the bakery in Blythe Bridge with Arthur’s sister Joyce at the time and she invited me to attend a dance at King’s Hall in Stoke with her and that’s when I first met Arthur and we got together from there.”
Millicent said of her husband: “He was my best friend. He was always helpful.
“He would do anything for you.
“He had always been able to do his own DIY and gardening. He used to grow Tomato plants, some he would sell in the shop.”
Arthur was father of Ann and Mark; and a grandfather of five.
Millicent, who had been married to Arthur for 62 years, said: “As a dad to our two children, he was lovely and then went on to be a loving grandad.
“He was very helpful with the grandchildren.”
Millicent said of their three decades of running Cross Street Pet Stores: “We made a lot of good friends at that shop.
“Arthur was always good in the shop. He would be able to find what the customers wanted.
“Years ago, shopping was a lot different to what it is today. There wasn’t any supermarkets or online shopping.
“It was alot about good customer service.
“Arthur was a bit of a comedian and would make jokes to our customers.
“He kept life fun for us.
“One of the things which Arthur did was when a customer had bought a pet but had forgotten to pick it up on Christmas Eve, he went out and delivered it to her on Christmas Day.”
Arthur retired from the shop at the age of 70, handing over the running of the business to his daughter Ann but still helping out when needed.
Arthur enjoyed a multitude of hobbies and past-times throughout his life including betting on the horses, owning a racing greyhound, and playing darts as well as cards – in particular crib, which he also taught the younger members of the family how to play.
He also enjoyed, with his wife Millicent, ballroom dancing and the couple attended a variety of dance events and venues mainly at Cheadle’s Guildhall and the Moorlands Club (now the Winking Man, near Leek.)
For the past few years Arthur had helped his daughter in her charity work for Animal Aid by skillfully making purple poppies.
Millicent said: “Arthur made the silk flowers first and then glued them together to make wreaths.
“There was 50 poppies on each wreath. One of the wreaths is on the memorial in the car park and the flowers are just as good as when Arthur made them.
“He was very talented. And he would do anything for anyone.”
Evidence of Arthur being a popular character was the large congregation which gathered at St Peter’s Church to celebrate the life and love of Arthur before he was laid to rest in Forsbrook Cemetery.
The service saw many family members, friends and past customers of the former pet shop owner, turn out to say farewell to the much-loved character.
Music played during the service included: ‘My Best Friend’ by Don Williams, and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ by Gerry and the Pacemakers.
Millicent said: “I would like to thank everyone for coming to the funeral and for all the donations which came to £575 and have been donated to the Dougie Mac.
“I would also like to thank the undertakers. They helped us through it all.”
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