Memories of Mike Povey from his
friends from the Swan
recent years Mike spent many a day with his friends from the Swan
and his family. He was somebody you couldn’t fail to miss as you
would either know him or he would know you.
Mike was always a gentleman and his
generosity to all of us was consistent. He was always like a
whirlwind and did everything at 100 miles per hour. Whatever Mike
did he gave it 100% and this was recognised with the professionalism
he showed with his work, which he loved. His stories of the people
he met and worked with are legendary with the likes of Helen Mirren,
Judy Dench, Sir Laurence Olivier the list is endless and of course
Kenneth Branagh. For all the friends he did make within his job he
always put Ray as his closest and fondest friend.
Mike did occasionally drop in who he was
currently working with and for a selected few of us we were
occasionally privy to some of the best kept secrets. The photos on
his phone allowed us all to see the quality of his work. A great
example was the viaduct scene from “murder on the orient express”.
The only problem with getting to see this was that there was never
any point seeing the film as Mike let us know who committed the
No one was more important to Mike than his Mum who unfortunately
recently passed away. For all the good times we all spent together
this was one of the lower points for Mike. He was incredibly fond of
his mum and when she passed away a little bit of Mike went with her.
was a founder member of the swan Sunday club where 10 middle aged
men would meet in the swan on a Sunday night and enjoy a drink or
two and put the world to right. They would organize pub crawls
around the local area as well as theme nights and the legendary “peg
shout”, Mike’s claim to fame was the invention of the gentleman’s
Apart from his friends and family Mike was incredibly fond of his
dog Patch. Mike walked many a mile with Patch who he described as
having many of his own traits. Patch always said that if it wasn’t
for the lead, Mike would have bitten a lot more people!!!
Mike was a keen footballer and in later
life became an enthusiastic arm chair supporter of his team
Manchester United and England. He did occasionally share the odd
opinion about certain players with Johnny Evans, Chris Smalling and
Phil Jones often getting many of Mike’s special comments. In 2016 we
shared a special nights
Mike watching England v Iceland. This was a classic example of Mike
openly sharing his views with the whole pub stating everything
everybody else wanted to say.
The Povey brand was not exclusive to these
shores as many a tour and holiday was spent with Mike abroad. For
any good trip you needed “PPE”. Passport, Povey and Euro’s. Mike was
especially fond of Majorca and after the breaking of his elbow at
work he was often referred to in Palma Nova as the Spanish archer
Mike loved his Music especially the rat pack singers and he enjoyed
nothing more than arranging music nights at Century’s with his
friends. He was larger than life, he was kind, he was boisterous, he
was Mike Povey and if his life was a film…... there would be no
R.I.P. Mike 1952 - 20 Oct 2017
Over 300 people packed into Westerleigh Crematorium on Wednesday 22
July 2015 to say goodbye to one of the Swans own, Alan Mizen.
Alan and family have been part of the fabric of the Swan for over 20
years and have been integral to most things since, from the early
Dan days of fancy dress parties, 1st Golf tour to the Ladies and
men’s mixed Golf day.
It was to be of no great surprise that it was probably one of the
busiest days ever at the Swan and probably the only one occasion
since the Moggs took over the pub that every local was there,
creating a garden party atmosphere which Alan would have loved and
was very fitting to his own personality. There were certainly a few
Buds being drunk in his memory.
Alan was devout family man who adored his wife, was very proud of
his children and idolised his grandchildren to which most
conversations would turn. He couldn’t contain his smile as he’d tell
of their antics and misdemeanours.
Ironically, as Alan would say he had no luck, a horse ran at
Lingfield the day before his funeral called Al’s memory and in
fitting fashion finished 2nd! He would have laughed at that one I’m
Alan will be greatly missed on the Swan social scene but I’m sure
that a bud or 2 will be raised in many garden bars around Hanham and
the local area in the coming weeks.
Alan is gone but most definitely not forgotten.
R.I.P Alan from everyone at the Swan.
The Swan has
lost another of it’s great characters with the passing of
Henry had used the Swan for well over 40 years after moving up from
the Bull and would meet his old friend John regularly for a quiet
pint. Henry would also frequent the Brunswick club weekly and I’m
sure there was 1 or 2 others as well.
Henry had amassed a lifetime of knowledge after having numerous jobs
over the years and living through the war years, he certainly had a
few stories to tell.
Although through poor health Henry had not used the Swan for a few
years now, his name often pops up in conversation.
Rest in peace Henry.
Tuesday 3rd Feb 2015 we said goodbye to one of the Swans longest and
most loved customers, Mike Parfrey, who passed away on 16th January.
Mike was a lovely, funny man full of character and who enriched
everyone lives who knew him. He will leave a big void at the Swan
which can’t be filled and will be sorely, sorely missed. People like
Mike don’t come around too often. The number of people who attended
Mikes service lay testament to what a much loved and valued person
Mike would announce his arrival at the bar by bellowing “SERVICE!”,
to which he was unenthusiastically served. It may have only been a
few seconds, but he would say with total disdain..”Right. .this kind
of service is totally unacceptable…do you know how long I’ve been
waiting here..I shall have to report back on this..”
“Now listen… I’ve been to the bank ( which would be Coutts bank it
was always suggested ) and I’ve got ten pounds of my hard earned
money to spend in your establishment, but I want 3 pints of your
expensive San Miguel. Is this enough or do I take my custom
elsewhere?” The response he would always get is unprintable..
Mike would then often ask for his lottery to be checked, claiming to
be weeks in advance, knowing full well he’d been to the caravan for
a month and was well in arrears…again he would be in total dismay!
Mike liked to sit by the door with the early regulars, but more
often than not within a short time of his arrival most would start
to leave as there time was up and Mike would be sat with one or two
others and would offer to return later to help clear the pub then as
He also knew that where he sat, he’d have to move from to make way
for the skittles at 7.30 ish, so a reserved card would be shoved by
his glass, to which he’d moan and groan, but he used to look forward
to doing battle with Barry who he knew would ask him to move when he
came in. “Now look mate you can’t stay there, we need the table” and
Mikes response.. “Do you know how long I’ve been sat here and how
much I’ve spent and know you want me to move..” to which Barry would
normally react as Mike wanted..
Then on the odd occasion if Mike had forgotten his phone or
something, he’d ask if we could phone Maureen for him to come and
get him, and the call would go in and we’d say “Maureen, can you
come and get him he’s had too much too drink and is playing up
Unfortunately those scenes will not be played out again, however,
just the thought of them will bring a smile to the face of those who
witnessed them and which will be Mikes legacy.
He can rest assured us young ones will continue to work to pay for
Rest in peace Mike.