A thousand mourners flock to Bloxham to say farewell to businessman and farmer Peter Smith of Smiths of Bloxham

A thousand mourners flocked to Bloxham last Friday to say farewell to businessman and farmer Peter Smith of Smiths of Bloxham.

By Roseanne Edwards
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 8:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 11:00 pm
The courtege arrives at the gate of St Mary's Church, Bloxham for the funeral service
The courtege arrives at the gate of St Mary's Church, Bloxham for the funeral service

People travelled from far away to join the Smith family for the funeral of their father and mentor Peter, who died on April 14. A tribute to Mr Smith’s life can be seen here.

Last week’s funeral service took place at St Mary’s Church, Bloxham following an emotional procession from the family home in Milton Road. The courtege was led by a funeral carriage pulled by four Belgian Black horses, behind which the large, extended family walked.

Friends of the family and colleagues joined from the farm gateway and the procession stopped at the family’s scrapyard for five minutes before making its way towards Bloxham.

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The procession makes its way along Milton Road towards Bloxham for the funeral service

People lined the streets on either side all the way to the church and beyond, wishing to pay their respects to Mr Smith, whose coffin was gently carried into St Mary’s by his eight sons to the sounds of Elgar’s Nimrod.

St Mary’s vicar, Rev Dale Gingrich, read the eulogy and messages composed by Mr Smith’s team of dedicated carers, including his grandson Jacob.

Readings were made by Bob Thompson, formerly of Midland Marts, who presented a long tribute to Peter Smith and his father Thomas.

Milton farmer and friend Sebastian Peissel also made a speech before the congregation saw pictures of Mr Smith’s farming life, set to music.

Floral tributes, among many, to Peter Smith of Smiths of Bloxham who died on April 14

Auctioneer Paul Gentry delivered an appreciation of Peter Smith and Rev Gingrich read out a poem, composed by Lucy Smith on behalf of Mr Smith’s sons.

Tom Smith spoke to the congregation about his father’s influence, his life, character, achievements and his importance to family, friends and business contacts. He described his father’s experience with Parkinson’s Disease and called for greater awareness of the condition, and of the diabetes to which Mr Smith finally succumbed.

The speeches were loudly applauded. To conclude the celebration of Peter Smith’s life a video was relayed with music of special significance to the family.

The sons carried their father out to the carriage to the theme tune to Last of the Summer Wine. The procession that returned to the funeral gathering near Milton was nearly a mile long.

Mr Smith was buried next to the grave of his wife, Kathy.