ROGER MERCER, THE LOMAS CONNECTION AND FOOD
Roger and my late husband Richard first met at the fledgling Crich Tramway Museum in the late 1950's. They soon became firm friends and Roger was a regular for Sunday tea at Richard's family home, where apparently he always ate the most. They shared a love of trams and had a special affinity with tram Sheffield 264, which they helped to acquire for the museum. Another shared interest was in 'bus spotting' and having a pint or two. Richard and Roger travelled to see Europen tramways in the 1960's.
I meet Roger in 1967 just prior to marrying Richard and several visits to Sheffield were undertaken in the early 1970's to see the buses. These visits always included a meal at an Indian Restaurant on Eccleshall Road, where Roger and I ahd the Mulligatawny Soup and usually had a fight to try and gain the others slice of lemon. On one occasion I was so successful that the lemon landed in his shirt cuff leaving us in a fit of giggles which lasted the whole meal.
When we had our children, there was less time for bus spotting, but Crich was always a meeting point and Roger used to come to our house for dinner, where he would always have 2nds and even 3rds if available. When Martin, our first son was almost 2, Roger came for dinner and beforehand, Richard and Roger went out for a walk on a bright, cold day with Roger propelling the pushchair so enthusiastically that when they reached the old spoil heap of Ripley Pit he pushed Martin all the way to the top to admire the view. I have a photo to prove it ( see below).
Richard retired from full time work and they both used to meet on Thursdays once a fortnight and go off bus spotting all over the Midlands and these days out always included a Chinese buffet and a few pints! I think we all know Roger could eat for England, but never seemed to get any fatter.
Richard went into hospital in October 2011 and was there for 6 months before he died and Roger was a faithful visitor once a fortnight travelling all the way from Bakewell to Derby by bus to have an hour or so with Richard and then return back to Bakewell - visits which Richard looked forward to and much appreciated. Roger always made sure he left the hospital in time to call for a pint and a Chinese Buffet in Derby before catching the 5pm bus home.
I like to think that whereever they are now they will be in a place with lots of interesting buses to spot, pints to drink and a Chinese Buffets on every corner.
Rest in peace Roger.
|Roger with Martin on the way to Ripley Pit
|Martin on the pit heap pushed up there by Roger